Nigeria’s president signs budget including funds for a presidential yacht amid cost of living crisis
Despite considerable criticism from citizens experiencing a cost-of-living crisis, Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has signed a $2.8 billion (R51.7 billion) supplementary budget that includes funds for new bulletproof cars for himself and his wife.
The budget, which MPs approved on November 2, also contains funds for a presidential boat, official vehicles for the first lady’s office, and repairs to the president’s residence.
Tinubu initially presented the expenditure proposal as a way to handle “urgent issues” such as defense and security.
The administration justified the yacht supply, claiming it as an active naval vessel outfitted with specialized security equipment.
Specific allocations for such regions, however, have been eclipsed by the distribution of monies for indulgences and improvements to the president’s residence quarters.
Opponents of the budget have said that it is unnecessary and insensitive to the condition of ordinary Nigerians who are struggling to make ends meet in the face of rising inflation and economic hardship.
The most populous country in Africa is dealing with double-digit inflation, foreign currency shortages, a falling naira, pervasive insecurity, and crude oil theft.
Tinubu, who took office in May, has under pressure from unions to provide relief to homes and workers. He has advised Nigerians to remain patient as changes are implemented.