In response to public criticism regarding the allotment of N5.095 billion for the procurement of a presidential yacht in the 2023 supplementary budget, the House of Representatives announced on Thursday that it had eliminated the budgetary allocation.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Abubakar Bichi, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, disclosed that the budget allocation for student loans had been raised from five billion to N10 billion.
He pointed out that the committee had augmented the budgetary allocation of the Ministry of Defence from N476 billion to N546 billion.
Bichi also shared that the matter of the minimum wage for workers had been examined and endorsed for transmission to the executive, with a vow of stringent legislative oversight to ensure 100 percent implementation.
The President’s supplementary budget submitted to the National Assembly included a N5 billion allocation by the Federal Government for the purchase of a presidential yacht.
The suggested amount was included in the capital expenditure section of the Nigerian Navy’s budget.
Based on the breakdown, the Navy’s operations would call for N62.8 billion, with recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure taking up N20.4 billion and N42.3 billion, respectively.
Bichi, however, confirmed that the budget no longer includes the five billion naira allocated for the presidential yacht.
He said: ‘Actually We have submitted our reports to the House and after careful consideration, the House has approved our submissions and the breakdown is as follows:
‘As you know, the budget is about N2.1 trillion and the Ministry of Defence has about N456bn but currently the Ministry of Defence has the largest share because we know how important our security is. As you are aware, we had interactions with them yesterday. Currently, we have increased their budget from N456 billion to N546,209,099,671 billion.’
‘For Police formation and command, we gave them N50bn while the FCT has about N100bn. You know FCT is very important to us, so we want to make sure that FCT can compete with any state in the world. That is why we gave them N100bn.’
‘On the Office of National Security, their initial budget was N27bn but currently we have increased it to N50bn. For the state house, their initial budget was N28bn and we maintained that.’
‘On Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, you know how important that ministry is. We maintained their initial figure of N200bn as well. For the Ministry of Housing, you know we have a serious housing deficit in the country and Mr President’s agenda, he wants to build as much as he can, so we have approved N100bn for housing.’
‘Service-wide votes initially was N615 but currently we reduced to N515bn.’