NIGERIA will be spending N82.2 million to manage the sewage system in the presidency in 2020.
A perusal of the detailed 2020 budget proposal of the Federal Government currently being scrutinised by the National Assembly showed that the presidency, which comprises the president’s quarters, the vice president’s quarters, the Lagos Liaison Office, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on Sustainable Development Goals and the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, will jointly spend N82.2 million on sewage.
Others to benefit from the budget include the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the National Atomic Energy Commission.
The State House is proposing to pay N45,418,735 as sewage charges, while the Lagos Liaison Office will spend N4,259,533 for the same purpose.
The Office of the Senior Special Assistant on SDGs is committing N1.8 million to sewage management; NIPSS, Kuru, will spend N3.7 million; Bureau of Public Enterprises, N3.7 million and N5 million on cleaning and fumigation; the BPP is setting aside N1.4 million as sewage charges.
NEITI and Atomic Energy Agency will spend N2.8 million and N1.5 million, respectively.
The president will also spend N2.35 million on cooking gas and N18.2 million on refreshment.
On foodstuff, cooking, refreshment and meals, the president’s side of the State House will spend N135.6 million; N50.8 million on foodstuff; N2.3 million on cooking gas, while another N23.2 million will go to welfare packages.
The vice president and other officials have also been allocated various sums to cater for meals, refreshment and cooking gas in the proposed budget.
Senate appropriation committee chair rejects secret budget defence sessions
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Barau Jibrin (APC, Kano North) has faulted the adoption of secret meetings with ministers and senior officials of federal agencies at the National Assembly for budget defence.
Certain joint committees of the National Assembly had during the week shut their doors against newsmen waiting to cover budget defence proceedings.
But speaking with journalists on Friday, Senator Jibrin frowned at the secrecy trailing the process as he noted that budget defence was supposed to be done in the open.
He said: “Neither the Senate as a body nor the appropriation committee coordinating the entire process gave such a directive to any committee to hold a budget defence session in secret with officials from the executive arm of government.
“I saw the story in the newspaper today and I am not happy about it, if actually the method was used by the affected committees.
“I know that such a trend will not continue from next week because Nigerians, right from the budget defence sessions, are supposed to know what and what the parliament and the executive are planning for them.
“The budgets being discussed or defended by the affected agencies are, more or less, for Nigerians, the very reason why such an assignment should be carried out in the open with attendance of journalists who are to report the details of what transpired at each of the session.”
He, however, clarified that closed-door sessions might be held by committees on oversight on the military, police and other security agencies at certain stages.
“For security reasons, committees over-sighting the various military outfits and police may, at critical stages, hold closed-door sessions but this is not expected of other committees, especially on the issue of budget defence, being financial proposals meant for societal advancement,” he said.