President Tinubu seeks Senate approval for an additional $7.8 billion and €100 million in his 2022-2024 borrowing plan
The administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has debunked reports making the rounds online over plans to purchase a presidential yacht worth N5 billion.
Naija News earlier reported that the federal government is planning to spend N5 billion to purchase a presidential yacht in the 2023 Supplementary Budget.
It was learned that the proposed sum is under the capital expenditure of the Nigerian Navys budget.
According to the breakdown, the Navy will require N62.8 billion for its operations, with recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure gulping N20.4 billion and N42.3 billion, respectively.
However, in a statement on Thursday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Temiope Ajayi, clarified that Tinubu didnt request any yacht and did not need one to perform his function considering the current state of the economy.
According to him, the request for a yacht was framed in the Navys budget, and it is assumed that they have an operational reason for it.
The statement reads, It has become a pattern for some individuals, CSOs and a section of the media to pick one or two line items every budget cycle for sensational headlines, deliberately ignoring context in their reporting.
The public that should benefit from good journalism, which should primarily educate and adequately inform, is left confused and miseducated due to the mischaracterisation of issues and misrepresentation of facts.
The trending issues on social media since yesterday are two items in the 2023 supplementary budget. One is the provision for a presidential yacht in the supplementary budget by the Navy and the other is over N6 billion for vehicles to the State House.
It is important to state clearly that President Bola Tinubu didnt ask for a presidential yatch and I doubt he needs one to perform the functions of his office. From what I know, the request for a yacht, however it is named or couched in the budget is from the Navy and they must have operational reasons for why it is required.
The budget office should be in a position to also explain to the public why such expenditure should be accommodated now, considering the economic situation of the country. I must readily admit that the one reason our budgeting system has been a subject of public attack is the very simplistic way some of the line items are described by civil servants, who prepare the budget. Examples abound. Sometimes in 2016, an Enterprise Resource Planning ( ERP) project of the Ministry of Solid Minerals worth over N300m then was captured in that years budget as website. Naturally, it generated a massive controversy as people, rightly, asked to know the type of website that will be built with N300million.
It is important to say that journalism should enrich public enlightenment and not create an atmosphere of siege. It is poor reporting to always reduce State House budgetary provisions to the President and Vice President. When the State House makes provision for vehicles, it is reported as if it is the President that will use all the vehicles or eat all the food when a provision is made for food and catering services. We have had such inaccurate reporting in the past.
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