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2012 Budget: Presidency to Spend Naira 1 Billion on Food Subsidy

By on December 20, 2011

Taxpayers will spend a fortune feeding the president and his deputy next year

The Federal Government plans to spend approximately N1 billion in feeding its first and second citizens next year if the National Assembly approves President Goodluck Jonathan’s spending proposal as submitted to it last week.

The president and his deputy will together enjoy N992.57 million worth of food and general catering services in 2012.

According to a  detailed analysis of the N4.749trillion  budget the president presented to lawmakers last week, the cost of purchasing food stuffs, catering supplies, kitchen equipments for the president and his vice, and their offices, will cost the nation N992.57 million, about N7 million away from a billion naira.

The document, obtained by Premium Times, contains the administration’s fiscal outlay for the next 12 months, and remains subject to the approval of the National Assembly.

Lawmakers have already questioned the huge allocation of nearly a fourth of the budget to security, and the still high recurrent cost, and have indicated plans to review the figures downward.

The estimate indicates that of the N18.34 billion budgeted for the State House, about N1billion would be spent on providing food for the president’s household as well as that of his deputy.

A further breakdown shows that taxpayers would have to cough out approximately N477million to pay for foodstuffs and “catering materials supplies” for the president’s office. The taxpayers, most of which are poor and frustrated, will have to fork out an additional N293 million to provide “refreshment and meals” for the president’s comfort at his home and office.

Yet, an additional N45.4 million would be needed to buy canteen and “kitchen equipment” for the president’s household, although similar purchases were made last year.

For the vice president’s office, the foodstuff, catering and materials supplies are to cost N104 million, while cooking gas and cooking fuel will consume N6.2 million.

Refreshments and meals at Mr. Sambo’s office and home are estimated at N20.8million. Then separately, another N45.4 million has been allocated for purchase of kitchen and household equipment at the state house headquarters.

At N70,000 a month, the N1billion budgeted for presidential feeding would pay the wages of 1,200 Nigerians for a year. Analysts believe that for a nation grappling with widespread poverty and growing unemployment, spending such an amount on food is wasteful.

“It is a continuation of the ‘food is  ready’  culture,” says Osita Okechukwu, spokesperson of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP). “These guys don’t care about what happens to the common man. For them it is grab, grab, grab. What will they be eating that should cost that amount in a country with high unemployment , poverty and disease?”

The one billion naira feeding bill reflects the contradictions that have attended national budgets yearly, with government on one hand emphasizing its intention to limit overhead cost, and on the other, spearheading some of the most outrageous spending.

Notorious for being overloaded with running costs, federal budgets for decades have hardly catered for developmental projects, and where allocations are made for infrastructural development, the projects are hardly ever executed.

President Jonathan has acknowledged that problem in our budgeting system, and has repeatedly announced his administration’s commitment to lowering running cost in favour of more development projects and job creation.

“This administration will promote job creation and inclusive growth by investing in critical infrastructure, human capital development and security, including more support for the police, defence and counter-terrorism operations,” the president told lawmakers last week during the budget presentation.

But while the commitment remains, at least orally, the president’s first constituency, the state house – including his office and residences as well as those of the deputy – has remained one of the top spenders of Nigeria’s scarce resources.
FG budgets N16.6million as rent for VP’s residence- Bassey Udo
The 2012 budget is replete with provisions already in last year’s appropriation
The Federal Government has earmarked a curious N16.64million as rent payable on the official residence of Vice President Namadi Sambo, although the president and his deputy are not known to pay rents for their official residences.

Details of overhead expenditures under the VP’s office as contained in the 2012 fiscal appropriation presented to the National Assembly last week indicates that the presidency would spend another N230.133million on the acquisition, upgrading and furnishing of the VP’s official guest house.

Over N1.06billion, comprising N500million for the construction and furnishing of the extension of the same VP lounge, and another N560million for the construction of official quarters for the VP’s director of protocol (DOP), aide de camp (ADC) and  security chief, was provided for in the 2011 budget for the same Aguda house.

Another sum of N116.733million has been provided in this year’s budget for installation of universal power system (UPS) facilities at the VP’s residence, while about N108million has been budgeted for the provision of communication equipment at the VP’s guest house along with the presidential villa and Dodan Barracks, Marina.

Other expenses to be incurred by the VP during the year include N20.80million for plant/generator fuel cost, and N10.40million for maintenance of plants/generators, as against N54.33million and N15.216million respectively by the president.

Also, the Presidency is to spend about N203.88million for the construction/provision of electricity at the villa during the year, in addition to about N85.21million electricity charges and another N168.72million provided in the budget for fuel and general lubricants.

Extension of power supply to the state house central store is to gulp N35.9million; extension of UPS power source to presidential guest house No. 7 at the Villa for N57.43million; overhauling of two power house generator sets for N127.5million as well as the rehabilitation of villa transformer sub-station for N101.67million.

About N957.098million has equally been set aside to take care of miscellaneous expenses, including refreshment and meals, N293.696million; honorarium and sitting allowance, N173.75million; publicity and advertisements, N77.56million; medical expenses, N84.3million; postages and courier services, N14.06million as well as welfare packages, N285.14million.
The presidency is expected to pay for its subscription to professional bodies with about N7.092million provided in the budget for the purpose, while about N21.485million will cater for its sporting activities

The provision for general utilities include N56.48million for telephone charges; N42.94million for water rates and N80.8million for leased communication lines(s).

 

Source: Saharareporters

 

  • Anoziek

    Jonathan had no shoes as an elementary school student…..Dont blame him he has to make up for lost years!
    This man is a clown and his govt is a walking comedy show

  • doughboy

    Seriously, when we have gluttons as leaders who require N1billion to ” feast”, no wonder they always sound sleepy when making speeches.

    let us ask our self, if you are truely employed and contribute to your organisational bottom line, how many times do you remember to eat?