NIGERIANS HAVE KICKED AGAINST the huge amounts of money spent on feeding President Muhammadu Buhari and state governors despite the recession the country is facing.
Many Nigerians lamented that while they could no longer feed thrice daily due to unpaid salaries and hike in food prices, the country’s leaders appeared not to be feeling the heat.
In the 2016 budget, funds running into billions of naira were budgeted for feeding and entertainment for the Presidency and the state governors.
For instance, figures obtained by one of our correspondents in the 2016 Appropriation Act showed that the sum of N103.47m was budgeted for foodstuff and catering materials in the Presidential Villa.
Most of the states did not indicate how much would be spent on feeding in their budgets but in Ondo State, the sum of N103.2m was budgeted for feeding and entertainment of the state governor in 2016 while the sum of N1.4bn was proposed for entertainment and hospitality for the governor of Cross River.
It was learnt that Benue State earmarked about N1.96bn in its 2016 budget for the feeding of the governor and entertainment of his guests. Abia and Nasarawa states budgeted N350m and N156m respectively for the same purposes.
Reacting to the feeding allowances made for the President and governors in the 2016 budget which runs into billions of naira, the General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said such a provision was unacceptable considering the austerity Nigerians are contending with.
He said, “Feeding allowance for the President and the governors is unacceptable. We need to make structural changes and reduce the cost of governance. Why do we need to feed a governor who gets salary monthly?”
Also condemning the feeding allowance for governors in an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, the Executive Chairman of the Coalition against Corrupt Leaders, Debo Adeniran, said it was Nigerians that deserved feeding allowances and not the governors or the president.
He said, “Feeding allowance for the President and governors is purely exploitation and an undeserved largesse. It is Nigerians that actually deserve feeding allowance, especially with the hardship in the country.”