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Obi raises alarm over plans to renovate Vice President’s House with N15bn

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in 2023 general elections, Mr Peter Obi, has raised an alarm over what he regarded as a waste of resources by the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Obi on Monday on his X handle(formerly Twitter) wrote that the proposed N20.5bn to renovate the house of the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, would pay the annual salary of 3000 professors in a Nigerian university which is about N400,000 per month and about N5m a year.

As reported earlier, Peter Obi had criticized the administration for the large number of delegates it reportedly sponsored to Dubai for COP28 as wasteful and criticized the government for proposing over N15bn in renovation and building of a new office space for the Vice President.

‘‘I ask this question because it is hard for me to understand some of the recent happenings in our nation, in these critical times. The recent news about a budget provision of N15 billion for constructing a new residence for the Vice President is shocking and disheartening, considering the many important challenges facing our nation. Just recently in the Supplementary Budget, the sum of N2.5 billion was included for the renovation of the Vice President’s residence in Abuja, which means that he already has a residence,’’ Obi noted.

‘’Again, during the budget presentation, I heard the sum of N3 billion was allocated for the renovation of the Vice President’s residence in Lagos. If we total all these sums, we would have budgeted the sum of N20.5 billion for the housing of the Vice President at this critical time when we are not just the world’s poverty capital, but more people are falling into poverty, with so many Nigerians not knowing where their next meal will come from. Our health facilities have collapsed, and unemployment is skyrocketing.’’ 

Obi also noted that ‘‘the budget of N5 billion for student loans, which is yet to be disbursed is only a tiny percentage of the cost of the Vice President’s new home. We are projecting to use four times the amount for educating ALL Nigerian indigent students to house the Vice President, and we are being told there is nothing wrong with us. I am sure the major teaching hospitals in Nsukka, Lagos, Ibadan, and Zaria did not receive this much capital vote in the budget this year. We have had leaders that were exemplary in the past.’’

In conclusion, he noted, ‘‘We need leaders who show compassion and are willing to sacrifice for common progress and development. Such compassionate and frugal leaders are critical in our journey to the New Nigeria.’’

 

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