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The federal government is planning to spend N1.5 billion on vehicles for the Office of First Lady amidst economic challenges facing the country.

The amount is contained in the supplementary budget sent to the National Assembly for approval.

President Bola Tinubu had on Tuesday asked the National Assembly to approve the N2.17 trillion supplementary budget.

The budget was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its meeting on Monday.

President Tinubu and some of his aides and other government official have repeatedly pleaded with Nigerians to be patient with the administration.

A review of the budget shows that the administration is embarking on extravagant spending at a time when Nigerians are being asked to make sacrifices.

Mr Tinubu had during his inauguration on 29 May removed the petroleum subsidy regime which has led to over 400 per cent hike in price of petrol at retail outlets.

The president and some government officials have repeatedly pleaded with Nigerians to be patient with the administration. They said the current suffering the citizens are undergoing would be temporal.

However, Mr Tinubu has decided to spend N1.5 billion on vehicles for the Office of the First Lady, an office that is not recognised by the country’s constitution.

Aside from the Office of the First Lady, the government plans to spend another N2.9 billion on Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) for the Presidential Villa, and another N2.9 billion to replace operational vehicles for the presidency.

The government is also proposing to spend N4 billion on the renovation of the residential quarters of the president, and N2.5 billion on the renovation of the vice president’s resident. In all, N28 billion is proposed for the State House.

It is planning to spend N12.5 billion on the Presidential Air Fleet.

The presidential fleet includes Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-800 or NAF 001), one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500), two Falcons 7X, one Hawker Sidley 4000, two AgustaWestland AW 139 helicopters and two AgustaWestland AW 101 helicopters.

Some weeks ago, Seyi Tinubu, the son of the president, came under fire for using one of the presidential jets for private use.

He was flown to Kano in a presidential jet to watch the finals of this year’s edition of the Kano International Polo Tournament.

While Nigerians are going through a spike in cost of living, the president will be spending billions on the jets.

The approval of the supplementary budget may not get any resistance from lawmakers, who despite public outcry, spent over N75 billion on procuring luxurious “official vehicles” for themselves.

The budget has already scaled the second reading at the House of Representatives.

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