The Federal government set aside N7.20 billion of the N21.137 billion planned as the State House budget for the 2023 fiscal year for the upkeep of amenities at the Aso Rock presidential palace.
Along with N644 million for the upkeep of the State House Lagos complex and guesthouses, it also set aside N1.96 billion for the purchase of vehicles.
Tijjani Umar, the Permanent Secretary (State House), made presentations before the Senate Committee on Federal Character yesterday and criticized the suggestions and projections as being insufficient.
He claims that as compared to the N40.148 billion allotted in the 2022 fiscal year, the State House’s 2023 total budget of N21.137 billion is N19.010 billion less.
He noted that the N7.20 billion was a crucial part of the proposed budget’s capital spending section.
He stated that the facilities included under this topic include, but are not limited to, electrical/mechanical installations, structures, and infrastructure in the President’s and Vice President’s houses, offices, State House auditorium, Presidential and Ministerial airport chalets, etc.
He added that this commitment typically consumes around 65% of the State House’s overall budget. The amount of N7.20 billion has been proposed for the year 2023 as opposed to the amount of N7.76 billion in 2022 to maintain the facilities in the best possible operational condition.
The N1.96 billion budgeted for vehicle purchases, according to him, is severely insufficient, just as the N59 million set aside for the upkeep of the State House Lagos complex and guesthouses is. 2023 is an election year.
Senator Abba Moro (PDP, Benue South), the chairman of the committee, stated in his remarks that the reduction in the State House budget for the 2023 fiscal year is not unusual because other ministries, departments, and organizations were also impacted