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Nigeria’s economy may be in a recession and the country may not have enough money to fund its 2021 budget but this has not deterred the Muhammadu Buhari administration from allocating its highest amount ever to the State House including the ‘presidential wing’ of a hospital the president seldom uses.
President Muhammadu Buhari will spend N17.3 billion this year to run the State House, Nigeria’s seat of power, details of the assented 2021 budget have shown.
About N3.4 billion of this approved expenditure will be spent on feeding and travel expenses for the offices of the president and the vice president. The former gets about N2.6 billion and the latter, about N873 million.
The N17.3 billion is the highest amount budgeted for running of the nation’s headquarters since Mr Buhari assumed office in 2015, comparison of the approved budget figures in those years show.
Last year, Nigeria’s administrative centre had N14.6 billion for its running. This was an increase from the N13.7 billion in 2019; N15.5 billion was allocated in 2018; in 2017, N13.6 billion was allocated; and N16.6 billion in 2016.
These allocations are higher than what was earmarked in the latter years of Mr Buhari’s predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, who in 2014, approved N12.2 billion for the State House and N6.6 billion in 2015.
The 2021 allocation covers the State House Headquarters, the president’s office and the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. It also covers the budgets of the State House medical centre, the offices of the chief of staff and chief security officer and the Lagos liaison office.
The breakdown of the allocation shows that the State House Headquarters and its medical centre will spend about N11.1 billion and N641.2 million on their activities respectively.
The president approved about N3.8 billion for his office, while N1.1 billion has been penned for the vice president’s office.