ABUJA FEBRUARY 17, 2017 – The Federal Government will spend the sum of N94.5 million to purchase bullet-proof tyres for the use of President Muhammadu Buhari and others in the 2017 fiscal year, Permanent Secretary, State House, Jalal A. Arabi, has said.
The purchase of canteen and Kitchen equipment, on the other hand, will gulp N100.8 million.
This is contained in the breakdown of the State House 2017 budget presented by Arabi to the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs.
The number of treated (bullet proof) tyres that will be purchased with N94.5 million was, however, unspecified.
The Permanent Secretary told the committee that a total sum of N94.5 million is proposed for 2017 representing 50% of the actual sought for in 2016.
He noted that they expected that the amount will address the shortfall and compliment the requirement of “the sector which is mostly treated tyres procured at an exorbitant price.”
On why the tyres should be purchased at “exorbitant price” Arabi explained that “some of the tyres being purchased are actually treated (bullet proof)” and hence constituted the bulk of the purchase cost.
On canteen and kitchen equipment, Arabi said that the sum of N100.8 million was provided for in the 2017 proposal for the items.
He added: “This amount is principally the un-released appropriation for 2016 which was the unpaid balance in 2015 for contracts awarded and executed. The sum of N80.2million appropriated in 2016 has up to this moment not been released hence its roll over and inclusion in 2017.”
He noted that it was important to mention that the proposal covered kitchen equipment in the main residence, VP residence, banquet hall, State House medical centre, State House auditorium and 22 other guest houses.
On electricity charges, he said that N45.3 million was approved in the 2016 budget for the purpose.
He said that the State House electricity bill for 2016 alone as forwarded by Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) for State House Abuja was N252 million with another outstanding liability of over N300 million for State House, Lagos facilities.
He noted that the provision in the 2016 budget could not accommodate the outstanding liability.
He said that the management of the State House was forced to install meters in 2016 to ensure proper billing “and that was what reduced the bill to a reasonable figure.”
Arabi said that since the bills were currently subject of reconciliation “we have made a modest provision of the sum of N319.6 million for 2017 to settle current and part of outstanding bills as noted above.”