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Marginal increase in expenditure for Buhari, Osinbajo, Gambari offices as State House presents 2023 Budget



There is a marginal increase in the expenditures for the offices of President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Chief of Staff Ibrahim Gambari in the State House 2023 Budget proposal.

This was indicated by the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, while defending a budget proposal of N21.1bn which he stated is comparatively lower than the 2022 appropriation of N40.1 billion by 19.01 billion.

Umar revealed this when he led other top management staff of the State House to defend the 2023 budget proposals before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs, on Thursday in Abuja.

According to a report by NAN, Umar in his submission, which also included details of the 2022 budget performance, noted that there was a marginal decrease in the personnel cost due to the anticipated retirement of 40 staff in 2023.

According to him, the recurrent expenditure levels in the various cost centres have been maintained except for marginal increases in the Office of the President, Vice President and the Chief of Staff to the President.

On capital expenditure for 2023, Umar explained that the major areas of expenditure in the State House under capital appropriation include the annual routine maintenance of the facilities in the Presidential Villa, Abuja and the State House Complex, Lagos.

It also includes the purchase of operational motor vehicles,  State  House Clinic and the proposed National Centre for Coordination for Early Warning and Response Mechanism (NCCRM) in the office of the Vice President for Strategic Preparedness and Resilience (OSPRE) .

The facilities in Abuja and Lagos include but are not limited to buildings and infrastructure in the President’s and Vice President’s residences, Offices, State House Auditorium, State House Gymnasium and Presidential Banquet Hall.

Others are, Council Chamber, State House Conference Centre, Presidential and Ministerial Airport Chalets and Airport Lounge in Abuja as well as State House, Dodan Barracks Complex in Lagos.

While noting that commitment to these facilities take 65 per cent of the total appropriation, Umar disclosed that in order to keep them in optimal working condition, N7.20 billion had been proposed for year 2023 as against N7.76 billion in 2022.

‘‘Closely following this, is the dire and urgent need for the complete replacement and upgrading of the communication/telephony system and electronic visitors record management in the Presidential Villa,’’ he said.

He added that N150 million had been proposed for the completion of the telecommunications infrastructure in 2023.

On the facilities and buildings in the Lagos Liaison Office Complex and Guest Houses, the permanent secretary told the Committee that ‘‘they are old and require not only maintenance, but renovation and renewal.’’

He, therefore, expressed concern that the provision of N59 million for maintenance of State House Lagos Complex and Guest Houses was inadequate.

He said that an estimated sum of N644 million would be required to upgrade the facilities.

On the purchase of operational motor vehicles and following discussions with the Budget Office of the Federation, Umar said N1.96billion had been proposed under the phased replacement of vehicles in the Presidential Ground Fleet and those in the Conference Coordination Unit (CCU).

‘‘It is noteworthy that most of the vehicles being proposed for replacement were procured more than 10 years ago and have since exceeded their useful economic lives.

‘‘This has resulted in frequent breakdowns and an unsustainable expenditure on repairs/replacements of parts,’’ he said.

He maintained that the released amount of N800 million was inadequate to procure the required numbers that need to be replaced partly because some of the vehicles are treated and very expensive.

On State House Clinic, Umar thanked the Committee members for their support in getting the Presidential/VIP Wing of State House Clinic off the ground.

He expressed delight that the project which was flagged off on Nov. 1, 2021, was at an advanced stage of completion.

‘‘This level of progress was attained given the full support of Mr President and the assistance of key stakeholders especially this distinguished Committee which has appropriated funds needed with the backing of and support of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning,’’ he added.

According to him, the project, which is 80 percent completed, will be delivered by the end of Dec., 2022 or latest during the 1st quarter of 2023.

Speaking on behalf of the Committee, the Chairman, Sen. Abba Moro, before adjourning the meeting sine die,  said:

‘‘I am not unmindful that the State House is the hub of the government and everything radiates from there.

”We would do the needful and if there is a need for us to see you again, we will invite you.

”But so far with what has been discussed and presented to us, we will be able to do the needful to the satisfaction of all.’’ 

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