Frivolous Spendings: 1.119bn Budgeted for Foodstuffs, Refreshment @ Aso Rock Villa, MDAs

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A chunk sum of 1.119bn is to be expended on shopping for foodstuffs, refreshment, meals and other welfare packages at the Aso Rock Villa and several Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government as stated in the passed 2017 budget, The New Diplomat has learnt.

The Appropriation Bill (budget) put at 7.441trillion is yet to be signed into law by the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, perhaps it could be signed this week.

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According to the budget, the Aso Rock Villa (officially referred to as the Nigerian State House and presidential complex) would buy foodstuffs and make other provisions for catering in excess of N123.5m while a separate N97.5m will also be expended on refreshments and meals.

Besides, the President’s Office has another sub-head on ‘foodstuffs and catering supplies’ with a vote of N114.9m, while under the same heading for the Vice-President’s office, there is a provision of N53.4m.

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In 2016, the vote on feeding and refreshments for the President’s office was N104.7m.

The Lagos Liaison Office of the State House is not left out as it has N7.4m for meals and another N8.3m for supplies.

The details further revealed that the Ministry of Education and some of its listed parastatals will spend over N126m on refreshments, meals and sundry packages this year.

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In the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the figure is N29.8m for the main ministry and listed parastatals, while in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, up to  N17.012m will go for tea, coffee, confectionery and other consumables.

For the Ministry of Justice and listed parastatals, N15.8m will be spent on meals and refreshments; N14.5m in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources; N12m in the Ministry of Women Affairs; N11.5m in the Ministry of Niger Delta; and N3m in the Ministry of Water Resources.

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More so, Police Formations and Commands are to spend N25.8m on refreshments and the Ministry of Power, Works/Housing will spend N39m, while the Ministry of Interior and its listed agencies have a provision of N18.5m.

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Hamilton Nwosa

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