Presidency yet to pay N552m electricity bill


– The sum of N94.5 million has been budgeted to purchase bullet-proof tyres for the use of President Muhammadu Buhari and others in the 2017 fiscal year

– The permanent secretary to the state house, Jalal A. Arabi, says the sum of N100.8 million was provided for canteen and kitchen equipment in the 2017 proposal

The sum of N45.3 million was approved for electricity charges for the state house in the 2016 budget.

The presidency owes the sum of N552m electricity bill, according to the permanent secretary to the state house, Jalal A. Arabi.

Arabi made the disclosure when giving a breakdown of the state house 2017 budget to the senate committee on federal character and inter-governmental affairs on Thursday, February 16.

On electricity charges, Arabi said that N45.3 million was approved in the 2016 budget, The Nation reports.

He said that the State House electricity bill for 2016 alone as forwarded by Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) for State House Abuja was N252 million with another outstanding liability of over N300 million for State House, Lagos facilities.

The secretary noted that the provision in the 2016 budget could not accommodate the outstanding liability.

He said that the management of the State House was forced to install meters in 2016 to ensure proper billing “and that was what reduced the bill to a reasonable figure.”

“We have made a modest provision of the sum of N319.6 million for 2017 to settle current and part of outstanding bills as noted above.”

Arabi disclosed that N94.5 million was budgeted to purchase bullet-proof tyres for the use of President Muhammadu Buhari and others in the 2017 fiscal year.

On canteen and kitchen equipment, Arabi said that the sum of N100.8 million was provided for in the 2017 proposal.

This amount is principally the un-released appropriation for 2016 which was the unpaid balance in 2015 for contracts awarded and executed.

“The sum of N80.2million appropriated in 2016 has up to this moment not been released hence its roll over and inclusion in 2017.”

He noted that the amount covered kitchen equipment in the main residence, VP residence, banquet hall, State House medical centre, State House auditorium and 22 other guest houses.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to end corruption in all ramifications in Nigeria.

Buhari made the promise at the launch of an anti-corruption campaign, tagged “The Value Project” in Abuja on Thursday, February 16.

The president who was represented by the minister of state for education, Professor Anthony Anwukah, said looting of public funds, bribery of public officials and other vices associated with corrupt practices constitute more than half the real problems of the nation, Tribune reports.


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Louis Ojibe

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