President Goodluck Jonathan wants to ride yet another new aircraft, and he has asked the National Assembly to approve the purchase. The request is part of the 2015 budget presented to the National Assembly in Abuja last week by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
It will be the fourth such purchase since he took office in 2010.
To make the acquisition of the gleaming new toy fit for the electoral stomp an attractive proposition, the presidency will trade in one of the planes currently in the presidential fleet. But the purchase will still gulp N400 million as deposit to the manufacturer.
Towards combating the insurgency in the country, the appropriation bill contains a N1,308,400,600 proposal to be spent on NICEP II security elements phase II by the NSA; N2,093,861,553 for maritime border security solutions (Falcon Eye); N2,093,861,553 for North-East border security solutions and N850 million for the DSS to buy more firearms and ammunition for all the service formations.
Defense, which comprises the Ministry of Defense, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, has a vote of N358,466,078,698.
Similarly, the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), comprising the National Intelligence Agency, the Department of State Security, the Presidential Air Fleet (which manages the presidential fleet of aircraft), has a budgetary proposal of N84,128,320,723.
The bill also shows a proposal of N215,635,713 for foodstuff and catering equipment for the presidency, suggesting that the equipment is replaced every year. Furthermore, the presidency will spend N26,663,050,469: N12,917,727,634 on personnel, N11,165,322,836 on overhead, N24,083,050,470 on recurrent expenditure, and N2,579,999,999 on capital projects.
The budgetary provisions further show an estimate of N150 billion for the National Assembly, and N73 billion is budgeted for the judiciary.
For the Ministry of Finance, there is a proposal of N1,727,288,461,558, a large proportion of which is dedicated to a what is called the “Service Wide Vote”.
The “Service Wide Vote” is explained as a vote created to serve all Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for emergency purposes not captured in MDAs yearly budgets, but for which funding has been provided.
Funds are disbursed from the Service Wide Vote with approval from the National Assembly through appropriation, and the Minister of Finance approving the request from demanding MDAs for the funds.
In the proposals, the education sector has an estimate of N492,034,986,591, and health, N257,543,773,757.