Budget defence: 1999 operational vehicles still in use in Villa –Presidency

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Permanent Secretary, State House, Jalal Arabi, said some of the vehicles purchased as far back as 1999 were still being used for daily operations in the State House.

A statement by Attah Esa, deputy director (Information), State House, said Arabi disclosed this when he led his management team to the National Assembly for the defense of the 2020 budget proposals of the State House before the House Committee on Special Duties, in Abuja, yesterday.

He said there was an urgent need to replace those vehicles as they had become difficult to maintain.

He said: “With the release of funds in 2018, some of the vehicles, especially security vehicles were replaced, spares purchased but we are still nowhere near our optimal level since no vehicles were purchased this year (2019).

“The proposals are in line with our provisions in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) document, discussed and agreed with the Budget Office of the Federation, and is to be implemented over a three-year period.”

The sum of N6.569 billion was proposed for capital expenditure, representing a 5.5 per cent reduction in the capital budget proposal for 2019 expenditure of the seat of government.

Chairman, House Committee on Special Duties, Samaila Suleiman, while expressing satisfaction with the presentation, assured that the committee would carefully consider the submission.

Similarly, the permanent secretary defended the State House budget proposals before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter governmental Affairs.