The Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, has denied reports that the renovation of his official residence will cost N10 billion as proposed in the 2024 Appropriation Bill.
Some media reports had inaccurately claimed that the official residence of the CoS would be rehabilitated with N10 billion as allegedly contained in the budget presented by President Bola Tinubu to the National Assembly last week.
The reports generated controversies surfaced on social media Wednesday.
Many social media users criticised President Tinubu for extravagant spending despite the hardship Nigerians are facing due to the removal of petroleum subsidy.
But Mr Gbajabiamila said the reports arebfalse and that no such fund was earmarked for his office in the proposed budget.
PREMIUM TIMES’ review of the proposed budget showed the media reports to be wrong and Mr Gbajabiamila to be right.
The CoS spoke on the matter on Wednesday via his verified X platform, (formerly called Twitter).
Mr Gbajabiamila, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, explained that the sums quoted by the media organisations were allocation for the renovations of the Presidential Quarters in Dodan Barracks and the Vice President’s Lodge in Lagos.
“I have seen social media commentary regarding the 2024 Appropriation Bill, particularly the provisions under the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President. Owing to the erroneous nature of these reports, it has become necessary to clarify that there is no provision in the 2024 Appropriation Bill for the renovation of any residence for the Chief of Staff to the President. I live in my private residence.
“The sums mischievously quoted by online bloggers and fake news merchants are for renovating the Presidential Quarters in Dodan Barracks and the Vice President’s Lodge in Lagos, to overhaul the information management and communications facilities in the Presidency to meet modern standards and to provide vehicles for the staff of the Presidency. The sums proposed for these projects are clearly stated in the budget proposal and bear no resemblance to the deceptive online commentary.
“This administration welcomes and encourages scrutiny of government expenditure; this is why the budget proposal is publicly available. However, healthy public debate about government actions requires us to be responsible with our utterances and engage based on facts rather than insinuations and falsehoods,” he said.
Only last week, some Nigerians strongly criticised the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, for allocating N15 billion for the construction of a new official residence for the vice president in the territory’s 2023 supplementary budget.
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