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Buhari squanders N34bn on food, travels

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The Presidency’s budgetary allocations for food and travels hit N34bn in six years, according to data obtained from the appropriation bills of the Federal Government within the period under review.

A total of N5.16bn was spent on food and N28.94bn on travels.

The allocations for food include foodstuff/catering materials supplies, refreshment and meals, and cooking gas/fuel cost, while the allocations for travels include local and international travels.

It covers the presidency and its agencies, which include the Bureau of Public Enterprises, the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, the National Emergency Management Agency, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, the Bureau of Public Procurement, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, and the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission & Its Centres.

The list also includes the State House Medical Centre, State House Lagos Liaison Office, Offices of the Chief of Staff to the President, the Chief Security Officer to the President, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President–Sustainable Development Goals, and Office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President.

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On October 7, 2021, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), presented the 2022 budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly.

The N16.39tn budget will send the Federal Government on another borrowing spree of N6.23tn.

Our correspondent reports that there has been a rise and fall in the budgetary allocations for the period under review.

Throughout the period under review, travel allocations gulped a larger chunk of the allocations.

The total budgetary allocation for food and travels was N3.27bn, N3.11bn, N3.81bn, and N3.39bn for 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 respectively.

In 2016, food allocations gulped N518.45m, while travel allocations gulped N2.75bn.

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In 2017, there was a slight decrease as food allocations gulped N681.79m, while travel allocations gulped N2.43bn.

However, there was an increase in 2018, as food allocations gulped N582.75m, while travel allocations gulped N3.23bn.

Another decrease was recorded in 2019. In this year, food allocations gulped N617.45m, while travel allocations gulped N2.98bn.

The total budgetary allocations for food and travels were N7.46bn, N6.07bn, and N6.77bn for 2020, 2021, and 2022 respectively.

In 2020, food allocations gulped N483.78m, while travel allocations gulped N6.98bn.

There was, however, a decline in 2021, as food allocations gulped N793.26m, while travel allocations gulped N5.28bn.

The decline was not sustained as there was an increase between the current year and the upcoming year. In 2022, food allocations gulped N1.84m, while travel allocations gulped N5.29bn.

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