The Presidency has said that the operational naval boat with specialised gadgets referred to as Presidential Yacht in the 2023 supplementary budget is not for the use of President Bola Tinubu.
A statement by the president’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, on Thursday, explained that it is called a presidential yacht by way of nomenclature because of the high-level security features.
He also said the boat was ordered by the navy under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari and that President Tinubu was only planning to purchase the boat because government is a continuum.
The statement came hours after the House of Representatives scrapped the controversial N5 billion presidential yacht from the supplementary budget.
The House of Representatives removed the item from the budget and transferred the allocation to the student loan component of the budget.
The inclusion of the presidential yacht in the N2.17 trillion supplementary budget generated uproar in the country, and many Nigerians described it as insensitivity on the part of the government.
Read the full statement:
THE FACTS ON THE NAVAL BOAT IN 2023 SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET
Following public reactions over the provision for what is termed presidential yacht and other line items in the 2023 Supplementary Appropriation presented to the National Assembly, it is important to provide some clarifications.
First, we need to make clear that President Bola Tinubu’s administration respects the views of Nigerians on all matters of public concern. We thus consider it very imperative to clear any misconception and misunderstanding of the issues.
1. What was named as 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. It is called presidential yacht by way of nomenclature because of the high-level security features.
2. The Naval boat was ordered by the navy under the previous administration. President Tinubu has consistently said that government is a continuum as he inherited both assets and liabilities of past administrations.
3. 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 Defence. The total of the submitted requests was in excess of N200 billion out which N62 billion was approved by the President.
4. President Tinubu is focused on securing our country and territorial waters. The Federal Government under his leadership is investing more resources to enhance greater economic output from our oil and gas, marine and blue economy.
In President Tinubu, we have a leader who understands the economic challenges being faced by the masses. His administration is working very hard to confront and surmount those challenges. Nigerians will soon get the benefits of the ongoing reforms that will certainly lead to a buoyant and improved quality of life for all citizens.
Special Adviser to the President on Information & Strategy