Despite low revenue, Buhari proposes highest amount for Presidential Villa since assuming office

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Despite Nigeria’s shrinking revenue and lean savings, President Muhammadu Buhari has proposed the highest spending plan for the State House in the last six years, details of the proposed 2022 budget have shown.

The budgetary proposals for the State House have gone up by over 140 per cent since Mr Buhari assumed office in 2015, a PREMIUM TIMES’ analysis has shown.

According to details of the 2022 budget proposal, the government proposes to spend N40.2 billion on the State House. The 2022 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 new figure is 142.7 per cent higher than the N16.56 billion appropriation in the 2016 budget, Mr Buhari’s first full budgetary year.

In 2021, Mr Buhari approved N17.3 billion to run the State House, Nigeria’s seat of power, an increase from the N14.6 billion the administrative centre had in 2020.

The president earmarked 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.

The proposed 2022 budget figure for the State House is higher than what was earmarked in the latter years of Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Buhari’s predecessor. In 2014, Mr Jonathan approved N12.2 billion for the State House and N6.6 billion in 2015.

Breakdown

A PREMIUM TIMES analysis of the budgetary details revealed that the seat of power and its medical centre could spend about N12.3 billion and N687.4 million on their activities respectively.

Allocation for the operations of the president’s office is billed to gulp N24.8 billion, an increase of over 550 per cent when compared to the N3.8 billion Mr Buhari approved for his office in 2021.

About 88 per cent of the proposal will be spent on the “construction of a presidential wig at the State House Medical Centre,” a recurrent budgetary line in past years. It is unclear if no money was ever released for the project. The president’s office did not respond to calls seeking official comments.

On the other hand, N1.1 billion was pencilled for the vice president’s office, a figure a little higher than what was apportioned for the vice president in the preceding year.

The office of the chief of staff to the president would gulp N529 million, the proposal showed. The office of the chief security officer to the president was slated to run on a N392 million budget.

Likewise, the Lagos Liaison Office could get N301 million, if approved by the federal lawmakers.

Aso Rock budget 2022

Other offices under the Presidency

Apart from the State House, there are other offices under the presidency.

Details of the 2022 budgetary proposals showed that two of Nigeria’s anti-graft agencies, EFCC and the NFIU, were prepped to spend N31.3 billion and N5.4 billion on their activities respectively.

The president proposed about N2.1 billion for the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), while N1.6 billion has been submitted for the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) would gulp N2.05 billion; N1.9 billion was allocated to NIPSS, Kuru; Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission & Its Centres would get N2.7 billion, while the Chief Economic Adviser to the president would get N46.8 million.

The allocation to the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) was N8.9 billion.

The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure would gulp N54 billion, all of which will be spent on personnel.

2022 Budget

Recently, Mr Buhari proposed a record N16.39 trillion naira ($39.8 billion) budget to federal lawmakers, with a crude oil benchmark price of $57 per barrel and a daily oil production estimate of 1.88 million barrels (inclusive of condensates of 300,000 to 400,000 barrels per day).

The deficit will rise to N5.01 trillion, or 3.39 per cent of GDP to be funded by new borrowing, proceeds from privatisations and drawdowns on loans secured for specific projects, the president told a joint sitting of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The exchange rate is projected at N410.15 per dollar and projected GDP growth rate of 4.2 per cent with a 13 per cent inflation rate, he added.

He said the total federally distributable revenue is estimated at N12.72 trillion in 2022 while the total revenue available to fund the 2022 budget is estimated at N10.13 trillion. This includes Grants and Aid of N63.38 billion, as well as the revenues of 63 Government-Owned Enterprises (GOEs).

The budget contains a non-debt recurrent expenditure of N6.83 trillion, personnel cost of N4.11 trillion and debt service of N3.61 trillion.

Statutory transfers, the category to which the National Assembly falls, have been put at N768.28 billion while pension, gratuities & retirees benefits were put at N577 billion and overhead cost at N792.39 billion.

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