House of Reps scraps N5bn presidential yacht after backlash

THE Federal House of Representatives has scrapped the N5.095 controversial budgetary allocation for a presidential yacht following public outcry against the line item in the 2023 supplementary budget.

They also raised the proposed student loan sum to N10 billion against the earlier N5.5 billion.

The Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Abubakar Bichi Abubakar, made this known on Thursday, November 2, while addressing newsmen.

He said the decision became necessary following the low budgetary allocation for students.

The committee also increased the budgetary allocation of the Ministry of Defence from N476 billion to N546bn to boost the fight against insecurity.

Abubakar also disclosed that the minimum wage for workers was considered and approved for onward transmission to the executive while promising proper legislative oversight to ensure 100 per cent implementation.

Also, N100 billion was retained for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as requested by the Minister, Nyesom Wike.

The ICIR reported that N5.09 billion was initially allocated for a presidential yacht in the Federal Government’s N2.1 trillion supplementary budget, which stakeholders criticised.

The yacht is listed under the Nigerian Navy’s proposed capital expenditure of N42.3 billion.

Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Tope Ajayi, on Thursday, November 2, debunked reports that Tinubu requested a presidential yacht.

Ajayi clarified this through a statement titled, “On Presidential Yacht And Other Matters,” in response to reports about the allocation of N5 billion naira for a presidential yacht in the N2.17 trillion supplementary budget submitted to the National Assembly.

According to Ajayi, the Navy requested the yacht for operational purposes, not Tinubu.

Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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