President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo plan to spend N3.97 billion on food, cars, and travels in 2021, details of the proposed 2021 budget released by the Budget Office of the Federation show.
The breakdown of the proposed budget, which is awaiting the approval of the National Assembly, shows that the president has budgeted N2.4 billion for his local and international travels.
The figure is slightly lower (a difference of N1 million) than the amount he budgeted for travels in 2020.
Of the N2.4 billion, N1.65 billion is for the president’s international travels while the president’s local travels will cost N775 million.
Similarly, N98 million is budgeted for the president’s “foodstuff and catering supplies”, while N25 million was budgeted for refreshments and meals, the same as last year.
For the vice president, N801 million has been budgeted for travels for the year, the same amount budgeted for 2020.
Local travel will gulp N283 million while international travels get N517 million in 2021.
Similarly, for the vice president, N50 million was budgeted for foodstuff and catering materials and supplies, and N18 million for refreshments and meals.
The budget also shows that N436 million will be spent on purchasing motor vehicles for the State House.
An additional N116 million will be spent on tyres for bulletproof vehicles, plain cars, close circuit vehicles, platform trucks, jeeps, Hilux, ambulances and other utility and operational vehicles for the Presidency.
The huge amount the administration is planning for the convenience of the first and second families significantly outdo allocations to some critical projects of public health and interest.
As an example, despite Nigeria’s high malaria burden and mortality rate, the government’s total budget for the fight against the disease is below N300 million for the entire year.
Fifteen countries accounted for 80 per cent of all malaria cases globally in 2016, according to the World Health Organisation. Nigeria accounted for the highest proportion of cases globally (27%), followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (10%), India (6%) and Mozambique (4%).
In all, these are all of the government’s subheads for malaria, totalling N297 million.
- MOD malaria tuberculosis & HIV research programme ongoing – N30,889,953
- Continuation of malaria vector control project: development of effective and long lasting herbal topical cream, indoor residual spray and outdoor larvicide/insecticide using non-pyrethroid plants and staff capacity building new — N25,316,366
- Phase 1 – clinical evaluation of agency’s NAFDAC listed products (antimalaria and anti-diabetic) new — N20,496,781
- Continuation of development of tea form (antermiasia annua + moringa and others) tablet and capsules (artimesia annua + moringa) herb-herb combination anti-malaria therapy new — N10,415,315
- Malaria control: transcriptome profiling of mosquito response to sublethal doses of pyrethroid; phase 1 ongoing — N13,547,033
- Enlightenment campaign to youth/women against HIV/AIDS, rollback malaria and cancer in the Niger Delta region ongoing — N30,000,000
- Integrated vector management control of malaria; procurement of entomological materials for monitoring resistance in Ogun, Imo, Kaduna, Platea, Katsina, Anambra, Nasarawa, Bauchi And Delta States; coordination, monitoring and evaluation of malaria intervention activities new — N19,598,329
- Procurement of MRDTS for rapid diagnosis kits for malaria, procurement of 5,000,000 doses of (sulphadoxine pyrimethamine) sp for treatment of pregnant women in malaria treatment and procurement of 4,000,000 doses of acts and distribution to health facilities new — N146,987,468
Basil Enwegbara, an economic analyst, said Nigeria is being run as an “economic no man’s land” where the rulers rule as outsiders, taking advantage of what they do not own.
“It doesn’t bother them the state of the economy, the poverty capital of the world, they should lead by example and stop living in the false world,” he said.
“They don’t sacrifice, they believe that as soon as they are in power, they must exploit and loot treasury because it is their turn.
“It is only in Nigeria people continue to budget year in year out for the same things they consume, must Nigeria be overfeeding the president and vice president? Must they travel in convoys of cars? If you go to places like Dubai, you see the ruler riding in two cars. He knows he is saving the money to develop his country and his people love him for his sacrifice.”
To avoid all frivolous spendings, he advised that the economy be decentralised by moving economic activities to the states with little or no revenue coming to the centre.