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N5bn yacht: Presidency explains own side of story

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N5bn yacht: Presidency explains own side of story
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Following public outcry over an alleged allocation of N5bn for a Presidential yacht in the N2.17 trillion supplementary budget submitted to the National Assembly, Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu on Media and Publicity, Tope Ajayi has debunked the trending story.

Ajayi made this clarification through a statement on Thursday titled, “On Presidential Yacht And Other Matters,” in response to reports about the allocation of N5 billion Naira for a Presidential yacht in the N2.17 trillion supplementary budget submitted to the National Assembly.

Tope Ajayi, Tinubu’s spokesperson, strongly refuted these allegations. According to Ajayi, the Navy made the request for the yacht for operational purposes—not Tinubu.

READ ALSO: Perform or be sacked — President Tinubu to ministers

Additionally, he criticized the “simplistic descriptions of budget line items by civil servants,” claiming that the public dispute has been sparked by these imprecise definitions.

Ajayi delivered an equally forceful indictment of media outlets, accusing them of inaccurately attributing State House financial provisions to the President and Vice President.

The statement reads, “It has become a pattern for some individuals, CSOs and a section of the media to pick one or two line items every budget cycle for sensational headlines, deliberately ignoring context in their reporting.

The public that should benefit from good journalism, which should primarily educate and adequately inform, is left confused and miss-educated due to mischaracterization of issues and misrepresentation of facts.

“The trending issues on social media since yesterday are two items in the 2023 supplementary budget. One is the provision for a presidential yacht in the supplementary budget by the Navy and the other is over N6 billion for vehicles to the State House.

“It is important to state clearly that President Bola Tinubu didn’t ask for a presidential yacht and I doubt he needs one to perform the functions of his office. From what I know, the request for a yacht, however it is named or couched in the budget is from the Navy and they must have operational reasons for why it is required.”

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