President Tinubu recently 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.
The House of Representatives rejected the federal government’s plan to buy a presidential yacht when it was allocated in the supplementary budget and was expected to cost N5 billion.
The controversial presidential yacht has sparked public outrage as Nigerians have criticized the plan and called it a waste of money on luxuries considering the economic situation of the country.
Senator Ali Ndume, the Chief Whip of the Senate, in an interview amid the presidency’s denial of such a plan, revealed that the deal of the presidential yacht which was included in the recent supplementary budget published has already been signed and delivered before telling the public.
The Chief Whip of the Senate in an interview with Arise Television on Friday made this revelation.
He said, “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.”
However, the presidency has claimed that ‘Presidential Yacht, as found in the 2023 Supplementary Appropriation Bill, is not meant for Tinubu’s personal use but for the Navy.
The presidency said the naval boat bears such a classification “because of the high-level security features.”
“What was named as a presidential yacht in the budget is an operational Naval boat with specialized security gadgets suitable for high-profile operational inspection and not for the use of the President.”
Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, in a statement on Thursday said
The Presidency’s statement, titled “The facts on the Naval boat in the 2023 supplementary budget,” reads, “The Navy ordered the Naval boat 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 the President approved N62 billion.”