Buhari, Osinbajo To Spend N11.92 Billion On Food, Foreign Trips In 2023 Budget

President Muhammadu Buhari submitted a N20.51 trillion budget proposal to the National Assembly on Friday during a joint session.

The N19.76tn proposed in the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper is about N750bn higher in 2023.

President Buhari and the Vice President’s office would spend N11.92 billion on local and foreign trips, as well as the presidential air fleet.

The sum also includes N1.58 billion for aircraft maintenance and N1.60 billion for overhauling the Gulfstream GV and CL605 aircraft engines.

The Office of the President in the appropriation bill will spend N2.49bn on local and foreign trips, while the office of the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo will spend N846.61m on the same item.

Aircraft fuelling will cost the government N250m, the purchase of air navigational and defence equipment will gulp N1.50bn, while N650m will go for a new mobile helicopter landing pad.

Bank charges will gulp N36.15m and insurance premium on all 10 aircraft in the fleet is expected to cost N180m.

According to the Presidency, the PAF under the office of the National Security Adviser maintains 10 aircraft since 2015.

These are Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-800 or NAF 001), one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500), two Falcons 7X, one Hawker Siddeley 4000, two AgustaWestland AW 139 helicopters and two AgustaWestland AW 101 helicopters.

However, not all of the money will be directly flight-related.

In the budget for the office of the President and his Vice, N40.45m was earmarked for the construction and equipping of a new presidential kitchen and crew rest area; N80.50m for the construction and equipping of a fleet defence coordination centre; N120m for the renovation and equipping of the PAF Lagos warehouse; N100.75m for the construction of six units (four-bedroom) for senior officers and road network, and N100.45m for the purchase of “one marauder vehicle for force and assets protection.”

Both offices will also spend a total of N508.71m on foodstuffs and refreshments. The amount stands at N331.79m and N176.92m for the offices of the President and Vice-President, respectively.

A closer comparison of the fiscal budgets for 2022 and 2023 revealed a 54.64 per cent drop in the PAF allocations.

In 2022, for instance, the PAF budget stood at N12.48bn, which is 54.64 per cent higher than the N8.07bn allocated for the 2023 fiscal year.

In the 2022 budget proposal, 22 items were designated as new or ongoing projects. These items amounted to N8.13bn.

In the 2023 proposal, however, only nine items were labelled as new or ongoing, amounting to N3.44bn.

Ada Peter
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