Senator Ali Ndume, the Senate Chief Whip, has revealed that the deal of presidential yacht included in the supplementary budget has already been signed and delivered.
Ndume disclosed this information on Friday during an interview with Arise Television.
According to him, “The deal has been signed and delivered, but not paid, and that’s what brought the inclusion of the amount (N5 billion) in the supplementary budget.”
Recall that the federal government’s plan to purchase a presidential yacht, estimated to cost N5 billion in the supplemental budget, was rejected by the House of Representatives.
Nigerians, who view the controversial presidential yatch as a waste of money on luxuries given the country’s economic circumstances, have expressed their indignation over the proposal.
President Tinubu had tabled a supplementary budget in the National Assembly for approval, with the planned purchase of the yacht listed under the Nigerian Navy’s proposed capital expenditure of $53 million.
Meanwhile, the presidency has claimed the item named ‘Presidential Yacht, as found in the 2023 Supplementary Appropriation Bill, is not for Tinubu’s personal use.
The presidency said the naval boat bears such a classification “because of the high-level security features.”
“What was named as presidential yacht in the budget is an operational Naval boat with specialised security gadgets suitable for high-profile operational inspection and not for the use of the President.”
Bayo Onanuga, the President’s Special Advisor on Information and Strategy, stated in a statement on Thursday.
The Presidency’s statement, titled “The facts on the Naval boat in the 2023 supplementary budget,” reads, “The Naval boat was ordered by the Navy under the previous administration.
“President Tinubu has consistently said that government is a continuum, as he inherited both the assets and liabilities of past administrations.
“The payment request for the boat was part of the committed obligation submitted by the office of the Chief of Naval Staff to the Ministry of Defense, the Presidency noted, adding that “the total of the submitted requests was in excess of N200 billion, out of which N62 billion was approved by the President.”