Buhari spends billions on new vehicles while borrowing to fund government, says watchdog group

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Since President Muhammadu Buhari was inaugurated in 2015, his office has spent N5 billion on vehicles — enough to build 500 health centres at N10 million each — as well as billions more on food, uniforms, travels, a huge presidential air fleet, president’s hospital, and other miscellaneous things, said the watchdog organisation Centre for Social Justice.

It added that in 2022, the president’s office would continue to spend an eye-watering N1.6 billion on new cars. It comes just a year after the office spent nearly N500 million on the same item.

“The revenues are simply inadequate to fund fundamental expenditure, therefore, every available fund should be spent with the greatest value for money, tied to a high-level national policy framework and aimed at improving livelihoods, growing the economy, reducing poverty and inequality,” said Eze Onyekpere of the Centre for Social Justice, whose organisation launched an initiative to identify wasteful items in the 2022 budget.

“It is against this background that the pull-out of frivolous, inappropriate, unclear and wasteful expenditure calls the attention of the executive, legislature, private sector, civil society, including the media, to these frivolities at a time of grave national crisis.”

As the budgets and their deficits have increased since 2015, so has the cost of governance that covers everything from fuel to printing paper to “welfare packages”, he said.

Mr Onyekpere also criticised the culture of allocating billions of naira annually to unclear projects such as “routine maintenance”, “foreign and local travels”, and “purchase of computers”.

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