THE sum of N24,835,805,231 has been earmarked for operations of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2022 Appropriation Bill he presented at a joint session of the National Assembly last Thursday, 7th October, 2021. 

The amount, coming under ‘State Operations House – President,’ is made up of N2,861,041,921 for overhead and N21,974,763,310 for capital expenditure. 

Under the expenditure, the office is expected to continue the on-going replacement of vehicles and spares with the sum of N1,600,000,000. 

N1,533,464,208 has been allocated for international travels, while the sum of N400,000,000 has been proposed for the replacement of Villa telecommunications infrastructure during the year. State House headquarters will receive the sum of N12,313,408,181 with the components being N1,736,064,934 for personnel, N2,860,063,433 for overhead and N7,717,279,814 for capital. 

A further breakdown of the amount allocated to State House Headquarters for expenditure shows that salaries and wages will gulp N1,346,707,871; allowances and contributions, N389,357,063; regular allowances, N187,350,882; social contributions, N202,006,181; National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), N67,335,394, and contributory pension – employer contribution, N134,670,787. 

For the recurrent expenditure, its further breakdown indicates that travel and transport-general will take N162,253,681 for the fiscal year, made up of local transport and transport training, N31,415,288; local transport and transport others, N57,765,546; international travels and transport others, N73,072,847; utilities others, N503,209,802; fuel and lubricants others, N120,699,558 and miscellaneous, N1,023,679,451, among others. 

The office of the Chief of Staff to the president was allocated a total sum of N529,416,737 made up of N470,391,701 for overhead costs and N59,025,036 for capital expenditure. 

The office of the Chief Security Officer to the president had earmarked for it the total sum of N392,171,682 made up of N111,359,316 for overhead costs and N280,812,366 for capital expenditure. 

The details of the 2022 Appropriation Bill posted to the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning website also shows that State House Medical Centre has been allocated the total sum of N687,425,876 with the sum of N331,730,212 and N355,695,664 voted for overhead and capital expenditure, respectively. 

The State House Lagos Liaison Office had proposed for it in the 2022 budget the total sum of N301,391,917 comprising N95,280,402 for overhead and N206,111,515 for expenditure. 

The Office of the Vice President was allocated a total amount of N1,183,011,298 made up of N1,048,618,092 for overhead and N134,393,206 for capital expenditure. 

The Office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President had an allocation only for overhead amounting to N46,864,446. 

Meanwhile, speaking on the budget, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to cut the presidency budget and use some of the savings to address the growing level of deficit, as well as improve public healthcare facilities across the country. 

SERAP also urged him “to send to the National Assembly a fresh supplementary Appropriation Bill which reflects the reduced proposed spending on the construction of the State House medical centre, local and foreign travels, meals and refreshments, and ‘welfare package,’ for its approval.” 

In the letter dated October 9, 2021, and signed by SERAP’s deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said, “Many Nigerians will find it quite odd, unfair and unjust that the government is spending so much money on many of these items in the middle of a public borrowing crisis. 

“The proposed spending could be better allocated to improve access of Nigerians to basic public goods and services. 

“The government would continue to borrow to fund the country’s budget until there is a substantial cut to the cost of governance. 

“The government should stop spending so much money on these items. Persistent borrowing is neither sustainable nor fair to the Nigerian people.”