Tinubu, Shettima to spend N13.5 billion on renovation of official quarters as poverty ravages Nigerian masses

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The Federal Government is planning to spend about N13.5 billion for the renovation of the official quarters of President Bola Tinubu and his deputy, Kashim Shettima in Abuja and Lagos.

The amount is contained in the supplementary budget President Bola Tinubu sent to the National Assembly for approval on Tuesday.

On Monday, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Atiku Bagudu, declared that the Federal Government would request permission to appropriate more than N2 trillion for the 2023 supplemental budget.

This is a 9.16 per cent increase from the N21.83 trillion 2023 Appropriations Bill signed into law on January 3, 2023, by former President Muhammadu Buhari, marking it Nigeria’s highest budget ever.

Details from the supplemental budget indicate that President Tinubu plans to spend over N4 billion on renovations of his official mansion in Abuja and about 2.5 billion on renovations for his vice president’s official residence.

In a similar vein, the president plans to renovate his official residence in Lagos, the Dodan Barracks, for approximately N4 billion. And the renovation for the official residence of the VP in Lagos is expected to gulp about N4 billion.

These figures have drawn wide reactions from different quarters as many Nigerians continue to suffer the impact of the removal of the petrol subsidy.

In his inaugural speech on May 29, Mr Tinubu declared the removal of the petrol subsidy, which caused the price of petrol to rise by about 200 percent, from about N200 to over N500.

While many groups have applauded the President for acting quickly to remove the subsidies, which experts estimate have taken billions of dollars out of the nation’s economy, some have also criticised the administration for its propensity to engage in extravagant spending, urging them to make greater sacrifices to lower the cost of government.

Last month the National Assembly declared it would be spending an estimated N57.6 billion for the official vehicles of its 109 senators and 360 members at the House of Representatives.

The spokesperson for the House of Representatives, Akin Rotimi, told Sunday PUNCH correspondent that members of the House had started taking delivery of the vehicles.

Rotimi said, “Some members have started taking delivery of their vehicles. Priority was given to women in the parliament, people with any form of disability and the elderly. The management has also ensured that only members who have been fully disposed of their court cases will be given the vehicles to avoid problems.”

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