The Presidency has drastically cut its N8.09 billion provision in the 2016 budget for the purchase of various brands of vehicles for State House operations during the year, checks by PREMIUM TIMES have shown.
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, had on Thursday accused the presidency of substituting the original copy of the budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly on December 22, 2015 with a new version.
Mr Saraki’s claim was the climax of days of suspense following claims and counterclaims that the document was missing.
A review of the fresh copy of the budget uploaded to the website of the Budget Office of the Federation on Friday showed a massive cut by about 83.5 per cent in the total allocation for the vehicles.
The government will now spend only N1.34 billion to buy only five BMW saloon cars and jeeps as well as buses for use by the Presidency during the year.
Apart from the reduction in the provision for vehicles, there were other adjustments in the previous allocations to various departments and units in the Presidency contained in the original budget.
A total of N7.52 billion was provided previously for the purchase of various exotic vehicles, including BMW saloon cars, in addition to another N566 million for the procurement of vehicles, including 16-seater Toyota Hiace coaster buses for the State House.
Despite the adjustments to the allocations to the various departments and units, the total appropriation of N39.13 billion for the Presidency remained unchanged in both the previous and current budget versions.
Details of the different adjustments showed that State House headquarters, which got total allocation of N11.91 billion in the original budget has now been cut by N100 million, same as allocations for its recurrent costs, overheads, honorarium & sitting allowance as well as miscellaneous expenses.
Equally, the purchase of fixed assets, which received N4.57 billion previously, has drastically been reduced to about N1.2 billion, while preservation of the environment and wild life conservation, which got a total of N978.3 million, has now been reduced to N347.4 million.
The Office of the Chief of Staff to the President had its initial allocation of N2.3 million raised to N22.3 million, while allocation to the office of the Chief Security Adviser to the President has also been raised from N3.18 million to N28.18 million.
Details of the provision for the two offices include allocation of N25 million each for overhead costs, recurrent and miscellaneous expenditures. Another N25 million has been budgeted for honorarium & sitting allowance for the office of the Chief of Staff.
Read more HERE