The disputed N5 billion presidential yacht was taken out of the 2023 supplemental budget by the House of Representatives.
The House adopted the report that Kano State’s Abubakar Bichi, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, had provided before passing the budget on Tuesday.
After giving the Appropriations Committee’s recommendations some thought, the Committee of Supply passed the legislation.
Following the budget’s approval, Bichi told reporters that the committee had taken the contentious presidential yacht out of service.
According to him, the N5 billion was transferred to student loans, bringing the total amount allotted for them up to $10 billion from $5. 5 billion.
In response to security concerns, the Committee also upped the Ministry of Defence’s budgetary allocation from 476 billion to 546 billion.
Along with revealing that the minimum wage for workers was taken into consideration and approved for transmission to the executive branch, Bichi pledged appropriate parliamentary monitoring to guarantee its implementation.
Additionally, the amount of $100 billion was set up for the FCT as requested by Nyesom Wike, the FCT minister.
Thus, the supplemental budget of N2.177 trillion was approved by the House.
Remember that N1.5 billion would have gone towards First Lady office cars, N5 billion towards a presidential boat, and an additional N12.5 billion would have gone towards the presidential aircraft fleet in President Bola Tinubu’s proposal.
“Actually We have submitted our reports to the House and after careful consideration, the House has approved our submissions and the breakdown is as follows.
“As you know, the budget is about N2.1tn and the ministry of defence has about N456bn but currently the ministry of defence has the largest share because we know how important our security is. As you are aware, we had an interaction with them yesterday. Currently, we have increased their budget from N456bn to N546, 209,099,671 billion.
“For Police formation and command, we gave them N50bn while the FCT has about N100bn. You know FCT is very important to us, so we want to make sure that FCT can compete with any state in the world. That is why we gave them N100bn.
“On the Office National Security, their initial budget was N27bn but currently we have increased their budget to N50bn. For the state house, their initial budget was N28bn and we maintained that.
“On the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, you know how important that ministry is, we maintained their initial figure of N200bn as well. For the Ministry of Housing, you know we have a serious housing deficit in the country and in Mr. President’s agenda, he wants to build as much as he can, so we have approved N100bn for housing.
“Service-wide votes initially was N615 but currently we reduced it to N515bn.
“For INEC, initially their budget was N18bn, and yesterday we had an interaction with the INEC Chairman and he convinced us with his submissions and we maintained their N18bn.
“So far, we have approved N2,176, 791, 286, 33 trillion. We will continue to support the government so we can deliver democracy.
On the presidential yacht, Bichi said: “Actually, as far as we are concerned, we don’t have that anymore. We have increased the student loan. Initially, the student loan was N5bn in the budget but we have increased it to N5bn so that our students can access that facility in order for them to go to school. We don’t have the Yacht anymore in the budget.
Assuring that “our members, especially those standing committees, oversee those projects and ensure the money is used judiciously,” he gave lawmakers’ word that sufficient oversight over the manner the monies are spent would be provided. We will give them a call in three months to find out what they have done with the money.
Speaker Tajudeen Abbas declared that the bill would be signed into law by the president on Friday once it was passed.
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