The controversies surrounding the breakdown of the N27 Trillion for the 2024 Budget submitted to the National Assembly, continues with more revelations on the line item spend for different departments.
The office of the Chief of Staff which is held by Femi Gbajabiamila, is allocated a total of N21 billion of which N10 billion is budgeted for renovation of his official residence in Abuja.
Gbajabiamila is the immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Further breakdown of the line items reveals that N290 million was outlined for purchase of official vehicles, N579 million travels and training, N104 million for the purchase of computers and N103 million for miscellaneous items.
Recall that the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nyesom Wike had outlined in his budget defence at the Senate that he would use N15 billion to build a new residence for the Vice President and use a further N2.5 billion for the renovation of Aguda House, the current residence of the Vice President. To add to the spend, Wike also proposed to spend another N2.8 billion for the renovation of the Lagos residence of the Vice President.
These new revelations coming shortly after the scandal of the 23rd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in which Nigeria took along 1,411 delegates to Dubai for the conference. The Nigerian delegation was one of the largest to the conference, and to add to the ridicule, it was filled with names of people who really had no business at the conference.
This proposed spending is coming at a time that the citizens are undergoing enormous hardship, due to the economic downturn, following the removal of oil petrol subsidies by President Bola Tinubu.
Inflation has skyrocketed, affecting many businesses and individuals. To say the country is in an economic turmoil, would be understating the problem.
Economic watchers were expecting that much of the proposed budget spend, should have been tailored towards critical sectors of the economy, to halt the current downslide. However, the poorly advised trend of spending on recurrent items has been the order of the day, and is set to continue in the new year.