Peter Obi, the former presidential candidate for the Labour Party, has criticized the Federal Government for allocating N15 billion to construct a new residence for Vice President Kashim Shettima. Obi, who previously contested against President Bola Tinubu and consistently scrutinizes the actions of the new government, expressed his dismay on X handle (formerly Twitter) on Monday.
Obi found the news of a N15 billion budget provision for the Vice President’s residence both shocking and disheartening, especially considering the significant challenges facing the nation. He pointed out that in the recent Supplementary Budget, N2.5 billion was earmarked for renovating the Vice President’s residence in Abuja, indicating that he already has a residence. Furthermore, Obi mentioned that N3 billion was allocated for the renovation of the Vice President’s residence in Lagos during the budget presentation.
According to Obi, totaling these amounts results in a budget of N20.5 billion for the Vice President’s housing at a critical time when Nigeria faces poverty, increasing unemployment, collapsed health facilities, and citizens uncertain about their next meal.
He emphasized that the majority of Nigerians could only dream of living in the Vice President’s current residence. Obi highlighted the financial discrepancy by comparing the budgeted housing cost to the annual salary of approximately 3,000 professors, underscoring the need to prioritize human capital development.
Obi also criticized the disparity between the budget for student loans (N5 billion, yet to be disbursed) and the cost of the Vice President’s new home, asserting that the amount allocated for educating indigent students is a fraction of the housing expense.
Drawing a historical parallel, Obi commended the exemplary leadership of General Murtala Mohammed, who declined a presidential mansion and directed the allocation of the land for 1004 flats in Lagos to benefit civil servants. He called on current leaders to emulate such sacrificial leadership and urged them to address the concerns of the masses more responsibly.
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