The Federal Government in its 2018 budget proposal has set aside a whopping N1.7bn for political officers and standing committees while another N760.2m was earmarked for honorarium and sitting allowances.
This and many others came to the fore when the House of Representatives Committee on Government Affairs on Tuesday disagreed with the Federal Government’s plan to buy 27 Mac laptops for N18.3m.
The planned expenditure was part of the budget of the office Secretary to the Government of the Federation, headed by Boss Mustapha. The SGF told the committee members that the laptops were meant to be used in the Council Chamber-where ministers hold weekly meetings-for special purposes.
National Daily gathered that in the said proposals before the legislators, N133.4m was set for welfare packages while another N995.1m was proposed for the purchase of security equipment, while N64m would be used to buy “monitoring trucks.”
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Moreover, it was also revealed during the budgetary debate that the Federal Government approved N280.1m cash payments to former Presidents and Heads of State in 2017 to buy cars. Out of the money, N40m had already been released, but final releases would tally at “100 per cent.”
There is an outstanding balance of N240.1m to be paid to the former leaders. Vehicles worth N120m were also approved to be purchased for former Vice-Presidents in 2017.
In the case of the former Presidents, the vehicles worth N280.1m, were to be purchased for them directly by the government. But, it decided to monetise the purchases by offering cash to them to buy vehicles of their choice.
The beneficiaries include Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd.); and Chief Ernest Shonekan.
The 2017 budget will still be in operation till May.