October 12, 2020
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DESPITE paucity of funds leading to plans by the Federal Government to borrow additional N4.2 trillion in 2021, both  President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo have asked the National Assembly to approve N3.227  billion for them to travel during the year.

According to details of the 2021 budget proposal submitted to the National Assembly last Thursday, the Federal Treasury will spend a total of N12.3 trillion to maintain president Buhari and his VP Osinbajo.

ALSO READ: Total number of borrowers increased by 47.35% to 2.59 million in 2019

The two occupiers of the State House will consume foodstuff worth N296 million aside from the N18.5 million that will be spent on the purchase of domestic gas to fuel the cooking.

In like manner, the treasury will cough out N476.86 million on their utility bills. The President alone will spend  775,602,580 on local travel and transport while his international travels and transport will consume N1. 65 billion.

Osinbajo, on the other hand, will spend N283,974,710 on local travels and N517,060,883 on international trips.

In his speech to a joint sitting of the national assembly, Buhari had stated that the 2021 budget was prepared amidst a  challenging global and domestic environment due to the persistent headwinds from the Coronavirus Pandemic.

“The resulting global economic recession, low oil prices and heightened global economic uncertainty have had important implications for our economy.

“The Nigerian economy is currently facing serious challenges, with the macroeconomic environment being significantly disrupted by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

“Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth declined by 6.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020. This ended the three-year trend of positive, but modest, real GDP growth recorded since the second quarter of 2017.

“GDP growth is projected to be negative in the third quarter of this year. As such, our economy may lapse into the second recession in four years, with significant adverse consequences.

“However, we are working assiduously to ensure rapid recovery in 2021. We remain committed to implementing programmes to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years.”

The N18.5 million proposed spending on domestic cooking gas is part of the total N132.1 million planned spending on fuel and lubricants where motor vehicle fueling will gulp N45.6 million and another N67.9 million will go to motor vehicle fuel cost.

After the normal foodstuff, occupants of the Villa also plant to spend N135.6 million on refreshments and meals as part of N996.9 million proposed for spending under a line item termed ‘miscellaneous’.

Other planned spending under this category include: honorarium and sitting allowance- N478,313,996; publicity and  advertisements- N9,113,357; medical expenses- N51,821,160; postages & courier services- N4,728,800; WELFARE  packages- N240,730,180; sporting activities- N30,187,032; annual budget expenses and administration- N26,107,232;  SERVICOMN12,896,260 and; anti-corruption- N7,341,583.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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