….Vehicles for Atiku, others to gulp N120m
From: Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
The Federal Government in 2017 paid out a sum of N40 million in lieu of purchasing vehicles for seven former Heads of State and presidents, it has emerged.
The beneficiaries include: President Goodluck Jonathan, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, General Yakubu Gowon (retd), General Ibrahim Babangida (retd), Chief Ernest Shonekan, and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd).
According to the financial report submitted by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, to the House of Representatives Committee on Inter-governmental Affairs, the sum of N40 million was monetised out of the total sum of N280 million proposed for procurement of vehicles for former president and Heads of State in the 2017 budget.
Mustapha appeared before the committee as part of the 2017/2018 budget defence for the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).
The N240 million balance for the procurement of vehicles remains outstanding and is meant to be cash-backed before the budget year runs out in March, 2018.
This is as an additional sum of N96 million was proposed for procurement of vehicles for the select group in the 2018 budget.
In the case of former Vice-Presidents and Chiefs of the General Staff, such as former Vice-President Namadi Sambo, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, the total sum of N120 million was released for procurement of vehicles in 2017, with a balance of N90 million proposed under the same sub-head in 2018 budget estimate submitted to the National Assembly.
The proposed procurement were part of the N2.492 billion and N2.492 billion capital expenditure for 2017 and 2018 respectively.
While reacting to the presentation, the lawmakers queried the proposed N18.360 million for purchase of 27 laptop computer (Mac Book) in 2018, the N,995,190,118 allocated for the purchase of security equipment, N64 million for purchase of monitoring trucks, N316 million for purchase of motor vehicles, N124 million for four 18-seater buses and two 30- seater buses.
Mustapha explained that the Mac Book computers are to be used in the Council Chamber as the Federal Government seeks to improve on e-compliance level.
The sum of N130 million was also proposed for procurement of two of Toyota Land Cruiser-Prado Jeeps, the sum of N65.551 million for ambulance and clinic equipment, while the sum of N170 million was proposed for Independence/Democracy Day celebrations, for 2018.
Other proposed expenditure for 2018 include: N1.734 billion for political appointees, N760.277 million for honorarium and sitting allowance, N133.421 million for welfare packages, N88.65 million for purchase of office furniture and fittings, N18.36 million for purchase of computers and N456.64 million for computer software acquisition.
For the support/maintenance of e-Council document, the sum of N116.64 was allocated, there is also N60 million for upgrade and turn around maintenance of Council Chambers Conference system, N30 million radio frequency identification device system (RFIC) N35 million for expansion of local area network/OSGF website upgrade and N40 million for socio-economic impact studies challenges/solutions.
However, the 2017 budget document of the OSGF, showed that out of the total sum of N55 million proposed for upgrading and turn around maintenance of Council Chambers System, the sum of N54,400,500 has been released leaving the balance of N599,500 only (98.91%).
From the sum of N35 million proposed for 1 Xerox D125 Heavy Duty Photocopy Machine to enhance timely production of Council memoranda, the sum of N34,938,750 was released (99.83%) leaving a balance of N61,250 only.
This is as out of the total sum of N20.800 million proposed for the procurement of 52 Mac Book computers in 2017, N20.790 million (99.52%) has been released, while from the total sum of N170 million proposed for 2017 Independence/Democracy Day celebration, the sum of N138 million was released.