Photo Credit: Punch
The Federal Government is set to allocate approximately N346bn for the Presidential Air Fleet, presidential vehicles, welfare packages, meals, and refreshments in the 2024 budget, as revealed in the detailed breakdown released by the Budget Office of the Federation. This includes N20.52bn earmarked for the Presidential Air Fleet, N5.84bn projected for meals and refreshments across all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), and N27.5bn allocated for foreign trips by the President and Vice-President.
In addition to the above, the Presidency and government agencies are slated to receive N319.28bn for various expenses, encompassing publicity, medical expenses, postages, courier services, sporting activities, annual budget expenses, administration, honorarium, sitting allowance, and other miscellaneous activities.
Notably, the total allocation to the Presidency in the 2024 budget has surged by 83.58%, reaching N272bn, comprising personnel costs, overhead costs, and capital expenditure. Concerns have been raised by Civil Societies regarding the significant increase in allocations, questioning its justification amidst the economic challenges facing the nation.
President Bola Tinubu, during the budget presentation, emphasized the government’s commitment to job-rich economic growth, macro-economic stability, transparency, and accountability. However, critics argue that the budget’s focus on higher recurrent expenditures raises concerns about the overall cost of governance, particularly amid reduced government revenues and the citizens’ economic hardship.
Despite appeals for austerity, allocations to various government agencies are set to increase by 39.66% in 2024, raising questions about the government’s commitment to reducing the cost of governance. The World Bank’s recent revelation that the share of Nigerians living below the international poverty line is expected to reach 38.8% in 2024 further adds to concerns about the budget’s impact on citizens’ welfare.