The State House Permanent Secretary, Tijjani Umar, has lamented the inadequacy of the N7.2b allocated for the ‘maintenance’ of the Presidential Villa in the proposed 2023 budget.
How much would be enough?
Umar would like to have as much as N40b for the State House as it was in the 2022 budget. The N7.2b was set out for the upkeep of Villa facilities as part of the State House’s 2023 budgetary allocation. The sum is a portion of the State House’s overall 2023 fiscal year N21.1b budget. The State House also set aside N644m for the upkeep of the State House Lagos Complex and guest houses, as well as N1.96b for the procurement of vehicles. Umar added that the N1.96b budgeted for vehicle purchases was insufficient because 2023 is an election year.
What does this maintenance entail?
The residence of the President and that of the Vice President, offices, the State House Auditorium, as well as the Presidential and Ministerial Airport Chalets, are among the facilities to be maintained, according to Umar. According to him, the proposed N7.2b allocation for the maintenance of Villa facilities formed the critical component of the capital expenditure segment of the proposed N21.1b State House budget. “It is also instructive to note that the provision of N1.96b in the 2023 proposal for vehicle purchase would still be inadequate to meet existing requirements. 2023 is an election year which entails frequent travels with associated costs as well as the replacement of vehicles by incoming administration”, Umar said.
The State House permanent secretary, who appeared before the Senate Committee on Federal Character on Thursday, complained that the State House 2023 budget was cut by almost 50%, in comparison to 2022 own, and the allocation is inadequate. Umar joined other Heads of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies – including ministers of works and information, Babatunde Fashola and Lai Mohammed respectively – who lamented the budget cuts in the 2023 appropriation bill.