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December 1, 2023
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Amid economic crisis, Wike proposes N15bn for VP’s new home

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is set to allocate N15 billion for the construction of a new residence for the vice president, as disclosed by FCT Minister Nysom Wike during the defense of the N61.5 billion 2023 supplementary budget. The project, initially approved in 2010 at N7 billion, was abandoned, but the current administration aims to revive it with a revised cost of N15 billion.

Wike proposes an initial N5 billion in the 2023 FCT supplementary budget to kickstart the project, titled “Design and Construction of Vice President’s Residence at the cost of N5 billion.”

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Addressing concerns from lawmakers, Wike emphasized that the project aims to provide a “befitting residence” for the vice president, with completion expected by May 2024. Additionally, the Federal Government’s supplementary budget includes N2.5 billion for the renovation of the current VP residence, along with another N3 billion for the renovation of the VP’s residence in Lagos. The overall budget also allocates N8 billion for the official residences of the president in Abuja and Lagos.

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Critics argue that such expenditures on luxury accommodations amid economic challenges are insensitive. Despite public backlash, the government remains focused on enhancing the comfort of top officials. President Tinubu and his administration have urged patience from Nigerians, defending the allocations.

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In an unusual move, Wike proposes spending N2.8 billion on publicity for the FCTA, citing the need to generate revenue by publishing essential information. The budget estimates include funds from various sources, such as N25.7 billion from the Paris Club refund, N14.3 billion from IPPIS/PAYE tax liabilities, N5 billion special intervention fund, N9.4 billion from internally generated revenue, and N7 billion from the infrastructure support fund. The proposed budget comprises N12.9 billion for overhead costs and N48.6 billion for the capital component.

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