Peter Obi of the Labour Party has described the passing of the 2023 supplementary budget into law by President Bola Tinubu as wasteful, berating the government for being insensitive and uncaring about the suffering of Nigerians while squandering resources on a mysterious presidential yacht and fleets of SUVs.
Mr Obi’s criticisms come shortly after Mr Tinubu signed the 2023 supplementary appropriation bill of N2.17 trillion into law on Wednesday.
“No item of urgent social welfare has yet featured in the supplementary budget being orchestrated by this government. Instead, the items being made to dominate public discourse on the budget include a mysterious Presidential Yacht, Presidential Jets, the furnishing of already lavishly furnished presidential quarters and offices, fleets of luxury SUVs etc,” Mr Obi said.
Speaking further, he said, “this portrays a Government that is totally uncaring and insensitive to the suffering of the majority, and indifferent to the mood of the nation.
“The government’s overall attitude does not indicate that it is aware that the country is in a huge crisis, nor is the government in tune with the plight of the generality of our people. Even worse is the fact that most of the funding for these profligate expenditures will be largely borrowed. The least that Nigerians expect from the government at this difficult moment is empathy and realism, not lavish indulgence.”
Some line items, specifically presidential yacht and fleets of SUVs, in the supplementary budget sparked reactions from Nigerians. But Mr Tinubu’s government claimed the past regime of former president Muhammadu Buhari started payment for the presidential yacht for the Nigerian navy.
Many Nigerians have voiced their concerns and criticism, with a significant number expressing displeasure about how such a luxury item can find its way into the supplementary budget.
The Senate Committee on Navy, under the leadership of Gbenga Daniel, a former governor of Ogun State and the current representative for Ogun East Senatorial District, has called for a probe into the matter.