Double Budgeting: State House Earmarks N90.8 For Telephone, Internet

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Presidential seal
Presidential seal

The State House has been caught earmarking N90.8 million for expenditure this financial year, an action which appears as double budgeting and misplaced priority.

A breakdown shows that the House budgets N23.8 million for telephone while  internet will consume N67 million.

The 2019 Estimates obtained by Vanguard last night indicates that some expenditure items which had in the past caused some concerns, have also found their way into the current budget.

Similarly, the State House plans to commit the sum of N135 million to refreshments and meals, N478 million for honorarium and another N198 million to the construction of a mini chapel in the residence of the Vice President.

Within the year too, N65 million is budgeted for water charges, N132 million on lubricants and N79 million on uniforms and clothing for workers.

At the same time, N39 million will be used for gaming and sporting equipment and another N79 million for stationery.

The Presidency, which is the most crucial office in the land, has not been spared in the repeat of such items.

The budget breakdown shows that the State House is to spend a whopping N274,798,446 for electricity charges.

The Presidential Villa has budgeted N65 million to buy animals for wildlife conservation this financial year.

In a similar development, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which is domiciled in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, plans to spend N250 minion to hire lawyers to handle its cases while it will also make use of another N1.8 billion to purchase a parcel of land, whose purpose and location are not disclosed.

In the same vein, the Bureau of Public Enterprises, PBE, which has since sold off core assets of Nigeria, most to non-performing entities and individuals, plans to use the sum of N150 million for what it calls ‘post privatization monitoring’ just as the Ministry of Defence has set aside the sum of N20 million to embark in a project it calls ‘Anti-corruption sensitization’ for Staff and military formations.

But it has also emerged that the clamour by a cross section of Nigerians for the federal government to sell off the National Theatre, Iganmu, in Lagos, largely seen as a wasting asset, will not materialize soon.

This is because rather than hid the call, the Federal Government plans to spend at this N642 million on the running of the centre this year while another N128 million will go into the rehabilitation of the expansive arts structure.