Last week, the Federal Executive Council approved the sum of N2.2 billion for the construction of a 150-seater banquet hall at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. This news was greeted with a public outcry, with Nigerians raising their voices against the extravagant sum approved for new banquet hall.
While Nigerians are still contesting that approval and demanding that it should be reversed, another outrageous one has been thrown in our faces. This time, it is the N2 billion that was approved for the construction of a home for the Vice President, Namadi Sambo and other huge amounts for homes for senior government officials.
According to Punch, apart from the N2 billion provision for the construction of the official residence of Sambo, N300 million has been earmarked for the designing and construction of the residences of the President of the Senate, David Mark; his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu; the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal; and his deputy, Emeka Ihedioha.
Although the approval for the project has been made since 2009, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed, defended the allocations when he appeared before the Senate Committee on the FCT on Tuesday.
Explaining why the building of a residence for the Vice President was considered a priority in Nigeria despite the magnitude of problems facing the citizens of the country, the Ex-minister of the FCT, Adamu Aliero had said, “The Vice-President is staying in a guest house meant for visiting heads of state.
“It is not right, it is not befitting for the Vice-President. The former administration decided to give the house of the Vice-President to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, which was in line with what was contained in the Abuja master plan.
“It became imperative for us to provide accommodation for the Vice-President. The Vice-President has no accommodation; certainly you will agree with me that it is unbecoming for any government not to provide accommodation for its Vice-President. We will now embark on the construction of a befitting residence for the vice-president.”
The new official residence, to be situated in the Presidential Villa in the Three Arms Zone, Abuja, is being handled by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and is to be completed in 20 months.
Yet another outrageous amount spent in a country saddled with unemployment and poor standard of living for many of its citizens.
What are your thoughts on this one?