Nigerians are reacting angrily to President Bola Tinubu’s newly unveiled supplementary budget proposal where some N6.9 billion is earmarked for the procurement of vehicles for the State House, and N1.5 billion allocated for new cars for the Office of the First Lady among other frivolous items.
Presidency and National Assembly spends billions on luxurious cars while Nigerian citizens pay billions in taxes,” Kalu Aja, a personal finance expert said.
This supplementary budget, totaling N2.17 trillion, has been submitted to the National Assembly for approval and is intended to address various critical financial needs of the government.
In a detailed breakdown of the proposed allocation, N2.9 billion is set to be spent on Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for the Presidential Villa, while an additional N2.9 billion is slated for the replacement of vehicles within the government’s pool.
An additional N4 billion will go to the construction of an office complex in Aso Rock while N3 billion will be used for the renovation of VP’s official residence in Lagos.
Nigerian citizens defend the Presidency and Legislators as their wages get inflated away,” Aja said in reaction to the government’s wasteful spending at a time when Nigerians are being squeezed by rising costs.
This substantial allocation for vehicle procurement has raised concerns among the public, especially in the wake of recent protests against the National Assembly’s decision to acquire N75 billion worth of vehicles. Demonstrations led by young activists have taken place in both Lagos and Abuja, with protesters expressing their discontent with such expenditures in a challenging economic climate.
Petrol prices have tripled since Tinubu ended the costly fuel subsidy programme while the exchange rate has crashed to a record-low after the CBN allowed the currency weaken. Both measures, though beneficial for the economy in the long-tern, have worsened the cost of living crisis in Nigeria.
Within the proposed supplementary budget, N28 billion is earmarked for the State House, reflecting various expenditures and improvements. Additionally, the Presidential air Fleet is set to receive a budget allocation of N12.5 billion to meet its operational requirements.
“All this from a president who, in his Independence Day speech just four weeks ago, urged Nigerians to “endure this trying moment,” Fisayo Soyombo, an investigative journalist said via his X handle.
“The president is enjoying; the people are enduring…,” Soyombo said.
Soyombo’s views are shared by multiple Nigerians who are venting their anger at the insensitivity of the Presidency.
“How can anybody justify this? How?!,” another Nigerian said on twitter referring to the breakdown of the supplementary budget.
Detailed analysis later…