In spite of the hard times and the frugal posture of the current administration, President Muhammadu Buhari is to spend N1,498, 917,334 on the purchase of new vehicles, accessories and maintenance of the fleet for the State House, the seat of power in Nigeria.
The Presidency has been at loggerheads with the National Assembly over the bid by members of the federal legislature to purchase vehicles for the committees of the parliament with both arms of government accusing each other of profligacy.
However, the 2016 Appropriation Act recently assented to by Buhari showed that a provision of N599 million has been made for the purchase of an unspecified number of motor vehicles under the line item – purchase of fixed assets in the State House headquarters.
The Federal Government also made specific provision for the purchase of five BMW bulletproof salon cars at the cost of N40 million each; five Prado or Toyota Land Cruiser Jeeps at the cost of N28 million each; 10 units of 16-seater Toyota Hiace buses at a total cost of N120 million, as well as 10 units of 33-seater Toyota Coaster buses and one utility pick up van at the cost of N158 million.
The budget has also made a provision of N282 million for the purchase of various accessories for the BMW bulletproof cars and the other vehicles in the presidential fleet.
These accessories include spare tyres, batteries, toolboxes, motorized jacks, diagnostic machines, tyre changing machines, kits pressure machines, C- caution triangles, fire extinguishers and towing ropes or booster cables.
There is also a cumulative provision of N209.2 million for the maintenance of the motor vehicles and transport equipment, as well as an additional N72.6 million being the projected cost of fuelling these vehicles.
Curiously, it has earmarked the sum of N27.7 million and N20 million as residential rent for President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo respectively.
The Presidency has also budgeted N180 million for the purchase of kitchen equipment, cooking gas, refreshment and meals for occupants of the State House, just as a total of N65 million has been provided for budget preparation, legal, financial and general consultancy for the fiscal year.