Despite his promise in 2012 following the removal of fuel subsidy that foreign travels by all political office holders would be reduced to the barest minimum, Information Nigeria has gathered that President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo are proposing to spend N2.466bn on their foreign and local trips in 2014.
This is a significant increase in the amount of money budgeted for similar purpose in corresponding years. In 2012, N684.74m was budgeted for Jonathan’s foreign travels while N1.289bn was earmarked for the same purpose in 2013.
But next year, tax-payers will fund President Jonathan’s travels and transport to the tune of N2.4bn while his vice, Sambo will cost tax-payers N67m.
These details are contained in the 2014 Appropriation Bill presented to the National Assembly last week by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
A further breakdown of the sum shows that the presidency is proposing to spend N1.159bn on Jonathan’s international travels and transport while the sum of N1.219bn will be spent on local travel and transport.
On his part, Sambo will spend about N29m on local travels and transport and N39m on international travel, and transport.
These sums are outside the N239.8m (N124m for foreign and N115m for local) that is budgeted for travels and transport for the State House itself.
Information Nigeria reports that the Presidency’s total allocation under the 2014 budget is N33bn consisting of N12.8bn personnel cost; N12.2bn overheads; and N8.9bn capital cost.