° President , Vice – President ’ s food to gulp N 149m
° Labour sets up team to study FG’ s 2020 budget
President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice – President Yemi Osinbajo will spend a total of N 3 .327 bn on foreign and local trips in 2020 .
The figure is contained in the details of the 2020 Appropriation Bill that Buhari presented to a joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday .
The item was tagged Travel and Transport ( General) under State House ( President ) and State House ( Vice -President ) .
In the 2019 Budget , a total of N 1 . 3 bn was allocated for the foreign and local trips of the President and the Vice -President . While N 1 bn was allocated to the President , N 301. 03 m was allocated to the Vice -President .
A breakdown of the N 3 . 327 bn allocated to travels for the two officials in 2020 shows that Buhari will spend N 2. 526 bn on his trips while Osinbajo will spend N 801 m on his trips.
A further breakdown shows that Buhari’ s foreign trips will gulp N 1. 751 bn while N 775 .6 m will be spent on his local trips for the year .
In the case of Osinbajo , his foreign trips will cost the nation N 517 m while his local trips will cost N 283 . 97 m .
The figures are outside the N 182 .25 m allocated for travels and transport in the budget of the State House Headquarters .
Foodstuffs for President, Vice -President to gulp N 149m
Also in the bill , a total of N 149 m was allocated for foodstuffs and catering material supplies for both Buhari and Osinbajo .
While the President is expected to spend N 98 . 3 m on the item , N 50 .88 m was budgeted for Osinbajo .
Apart from the N 149 m foodstuffs and catering material supplies bill , the two government officials will also spend N 43 . 916 m on refreshment and meal .
The President will spend N 25 .652 m on the item while the Vice – President will spend N 18 .264 m on the same item .
This is apart from the N 135 .668 m budgeted for the same refreshment and meal in the budget of the State House Headquarters . For honorarium and sitting allowance, both of them will spend N 184 .438 m .
While N 164. 176 m was allocated to the President , N 20 .262 m was allocated to the Vice -President .
N 478. 313 m was allocated to the same honorarium and sitting allowance in the budget of State House Headquarters .
Still under the budget of the State House headquarters, a whopping N 4. 062 bn was allocated to what was tagged “ annual routine maintenance of mechanical / electrical installations of the villa .” The project is said to be an ongoing one .
N 526. 234 m was also allocated to what is called “ phased replacement of vehicles , spares and tyres in the presidential , CVU security/ police escort and State House operational fleets .” The project is also described as an ongoing project .
Apart from these , N 389. 64 m was also budgeted for “ outstanding liabilities on routine maintenance and other services for 2016 . ”
N 91 . 681 m will also be spent on “ purchase of tyres for bulletproof vehicles , plain Toyota cars , CCU vehicles , platform trucks , Land Cruiser and Prado Jeeps , Hilux , Peugeot 607 , ambulances and other utility and operational vehicles . ”
N 32 . 199 m is budgeted for fuel and lubricants ( general); N 32 .5 m for wildlife conservation ; and N 45 .4 m for sewage charges.
Reps pass budget for second reading , adjourn to October 29
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives concluded the second reading of the 2020 Appropriation Bill on Thursday and adjourned plenary till October 29 , 2019 .
During the continuation of the debate on the key assumptions of the budget, many lawmakers criticised various aspects and allocations in the financial proposal .
A member from Lagos State , Babajide Obanikoro , said the amount allocated to health was grossly inadequate, considering the over 180 million population of Nigeria.
In his submission , Yusuf Gagdi , faulted the borrowing and debt servicing plan . He also stated that the total amount voted for education, about N 160 bn , was not comparable when considering other African countries .
“ The capacity of any government is dependent on its own educational system . As the Giant of Africa , education budget should supersede others in Africa, ” he said.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila , who presided over the plenary , referred the bill to the standing committees , also known as Sub -Committees on Appropriations .
Addressing journalists after the plenary , Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Benjamin Kalu , noted that the lawmakers had been working on the budget as scheduled .
Kalu also noted that contrary to the public outcry that the National Assembly had become a rubber stamp of the Buhari- led Presidency , the lawmakers had freely criticised the budget, showing that they were not an appendage of the executive .
He said, “ Today is Thursday and a lot has happened between Tuesday and today. I want to say that, just as we promised that we are going to support the executive in realising this goal of reversing the budget to a January-December calendar . We mentioned that we drew a road map towards achieving that. In our timetable which we announced here on Tuesday , we said we would start debate on Wednesday on the general principles of the budget estimates , that actually took place . ”
Lawmakers vow to revamp maritime , agric , insurance sectors
In another development , the House Committee on Agriculture in Abuja on Thursday , said it was ready to assist the Federal Government in the diversification of the economy from petroleum to agriculture .
The Chairman of the House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services , Mohammed Dandutse , stated that the panel was critical to the development and progress of Nigeria , stressing that the lawmakers would develop a plan to achieve the goal.
“ If you look at it , agriculture is the only substituted means that we can be realistic about to move this country forward , in terms of employment and industrialisation . If we can have a plan as a committee , I think we can move this country forward . ”
In another development , the House assured Nigerians and business community of its resolve towards addressing the various challenges facing the country ’s maritime sector , including oil theft , piracy and oil bunkering .
The Chairman , House Committee on Navy, Shaaban Sharada , gave the assurance on Thursday at the inaugural meeting of the committee.
Sharada said the lawmakers were working towards “ writing the names of members of the committee in the history of Nigeria by improving the security of the oil and maritime industries. ”
He added , “ If you look at how the Navy committee in the past had been discharging its work , we have a lot of things to do to salvage this country from a lot of issues bedevilling it , ranging from the issue of oil theft , piracy and a lot of bunkering and other maritime security within our waterways .
“ By the special grace of God, we will do our best to ensure that we add value to the people of Nigeria and the Nigerian government , as well as Nigeria ’s financial institutions in such a way that will reduce such menace to the barest minimum . ”
Meanwhile, the House said it would revamp the insurance sector to meet international standards.
Chairman of the House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters , Darlington Nwokocha , after a meeting with some stakeholders in the sector on Thursday , said the lawmakers were ready to boost Nigerians ’ confidence in insurance- related matters .
Nwokocha said, “ The essence is interactive . We want to make sure that all the ministries , agencies and stakeholders that are involved in insurance – the insured and the insurer – we interact with them and engage them . The bottom line is that we want to re -jig everything concerning insurance in Nigeria . We want to make sure that we put the proper orientation , because so many people do not understand what insurance is all about.
“ So, we want to revolutionise insurance industry through the legislative arm . We have to make the necessary laws and to defend it as well . In that process, we will make sure that we spread the insurance awareness across the board . One major thing that we want to ensure is confidence in all aspects of insurance participation . We want to make sure that all claims , in all ramifications , will meet the global standards. ”
Labour sets up team to study budget
Organised labour on Thursday said it had set up a team to study the 2020 budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly , saying that it was expecting the report of the committee tomorrow .
President of the Trade Union Congress, Quadri Olaleye , told one of our correspondents that a statement would be released on it after the report is submitted on Saturday .
He said, “ We are not making a comment now because we have a team that is doing the analysis of the Federal Government budget which President Miuhammadu Buhari presented to the National Assembly . On Saturday , we will have the full report of the analysis , that is when we will make general comment on the budget. ”
Meanwhile, Secretary of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, Alade Lawal , said the Federal Government must show if the budget was workers ’ friendly by accepting labour demands on the consequential adjustment arising from the new minimum wage of N 30 ,000 .