*To purchase vehicles with N1.96bn
*Seeks N644m to maintain Lagos liaison office, guest houses
The State House has earmarked N7.20 billion for the maintenance of Villa facilities out of its N21.137 billion total budgetary proposal for the 2023 fiscal year, it also plans to spend N1.96 billion on vehicle purchase in the fiscal year.
In addition, it would spend N644 million to maintain the State House Lagos Complex and Guest Houses. The Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, stated this yesterday, while defending the budget before the Senate Committee on Federal Character. He, however, said the proposals and projections, were inadequate.
He said total budget size of N21.137 billion for the State House in 2023 was N19.010 billion less, when compared to the N40.148 billion appropriated for it in the 2022 fiscal year. The N7.20 billion earmarked for maintenance of Villa Facilities, he explained, formed the critical component of the capital expenditure segment of the proposed budget
He said, “The facilities under this heading include but are not limited to electrical/mechanical installations, buildings and infrastructures in the President’s and Vice President’s residences, offices, State House Auditorium, Presidential and Ministerial Airport Chalets, etc. “These commitments usually take about 65 per cent of the total appropriation of the State House. In order to keep the facilities in optimal working condition, the sum of N7.20 billion has been proposed for year 2023 against the sum of N7.76 billion in 2022.”
He added that 2023 being an election year, the sum of N1.96 billion earmarked for vehicle purchase was inadequate. He also said the provision of N59 million for the maintenance of State House Lagos Complex and Guest Houses, was grossly inadequate. The Permanent Secretary said, “The provision of N59 million for maintenance of State House Lagos Complex and Guest Houses was inadequate, requiring an estimated sum of N644 million for upgrade of the facilities.
“It is also instructive to note that the provision of N1.96 billion in the 2023 proposal for purchase of vehicles would still be inadequate to meet existing requirements, 2023 being an election year which entails frequent travels with associated costs as well as the replacement of vehicles by incoming administration,” he said.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Abba Moro (PDP Benue South), said the slash in the State House budget for 2023 fiscal year, was not peculiar as other MDAs were also affected. He assured the Permanent Secretary that the committee will work on it.