Premium Times (Abuja)

24 December 2013

Nigeria: Jonathan to Spend At Least N1.5 Billion for Another Presidential Jet

The Presidency is set to increase the number of private jets in the Presidential Air Fleet by purchasing an additional aircraft in 2014. The proposal for the new aircraft has already been included in the proposed 2014 Appropriation Bill submitted to the National Assembly.

Details of the budget proposal laid before the two chambers of the National Assembly last week by the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan, revealed that N1.5 billion was proposed as deposit for the purchase of the new aircraft. The proposal was included in the budget of the Presidential Air Fleet under the Office of the National Security Adviser, NSA.

The presidential fleet also proposed to spend about N747 million to take care of its aircraft fuel cost during the year.

Though further details of the planned acquisition were not immediately available as top officials in the presidency who should know were not willing to comment on the issue, it was gathered that new aircraft would be the 11th in the luxurious presidential fleet.

Other proposals in the budget include the plan by the presidency to purchase a new embalming machine for the State House, Abuja, for which a budget of N1.65 billion has been made.

Another N17.5 million has also been set aside by the presidency for the provision of magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, building and mortuary conversion machine; as well as N1.3 billion for the construction of the VIP wing of the State House Medical Centre, Abuja.

In addition, about N17.5 million would go for the construction of hospitals and health centre in the State House, apart from N37million set aside for wildlife conservation purposes in the Presidential Villa.

Another N70 million would be spent for the building and installation of oxygen and other gases generating plant at the State House; N50 million for the completion of the extension of dental wing at the State House Medical Centre; N6 million for two sauna baths; N5 million for a wildlife capture equipment, and N14.5 million to purchase two wildlife animals not mentioned in the budget.

The upgrade of Villa facilities would gulp about N1.5 billion; upgrade of Villa Telecommunication Exchange and spare parts would take N220 million; and about N215million would be spent on remodeling of the new guest house for the vice President at Yakubu Gowon Crescent, Asokoro.

About N50 million has been included in the budget for improvement of electrical installation in the State House Banquet Hall; N15 million for renovation of Horses' stable/paddock; N8 million for the upgrade and maintenance of Villa Zoo, while N1.8 million would go for six wardrobe/towel shelves for the presidential lodge.

As part of the ongoing reform in the power sector, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, which transmits generated electricity, has been allocated about N24.9 billion for its operations in 2014.

The Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, successor generation companies also have an allocation of N1.143 billion for the year.

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