The N5.09 billion allocation for a presidential yacht in the Federal Government’s N2.1 trillion supplementary budget has sparked controversy.
The yacht is listed under the Nigerian Navy’s proposed capital expenditure of N42.3 billion. In addition, the government plans to spend N12.5 billion on the Presidential Air Fleet.
The presidential fleet includes a Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-800 or NAF 001), one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500), two Falcons 7X, one Hawker Sidley 4000, two AgustaWestland AW 139 helicopters and two AgustaWestland AW 101 helicopters.
Recall that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration submitted a N2.1 trillion budget to the National Assembly after the Federal Executive Council’s approval on Monday.
Barely 24 hours later, the budget passed a second reading at the Senate and House of Representatives.
However, details of the budget have continued to stir controversy among Nigerians.
Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, said some items of the budget defy logical thinking and are best described as insensitive.
“This is financial recklessness. Nigerians are suffering, and the Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration seems not concerned about it,” he said.
Kabir Isah, an Abuja-based public affairs analyst, said the government may have to look at more borrowing to fund the budget.
He said: “The government should be looking for ways to boost revenue and not planning to spend the lean revenues on irrelevant items. It is even worse to know there are no plans to patronise our local vehicle manufacturers.”
Meanwhile, a social media commentator on X, Woye, clarified that the presidential Yacht belongs to the Nigerian Navy, not Tinubu.
“Presidential Yacht belongs to the Nigerian Navy, not Tinubu. The history of procurement and approval started before Buhari; a budgetary proposal by the Nigerian Navy can be approved or rejected by the National Assembly. The Nigerian Navy proposed N3.3bn to buy presidential yachts during the past Federal Government, not Former President Goodluck Jonathan”, he posted on his official X handle.