Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, has punctured claims in some online publications that his office is to get N21 billion allocation in the 2024 budget estimates presented to the National Assembly by the President last week.
The report claimed N104 million is for the purchase of computers and printers for ‘local travel and transport for international training,’ his office is to spend N579 million, while ‘miscellaneous’ is expected to gulp N103 million.
The report also claimed a further breakdown of the proposed budgetary allocations showed that the reconstruction and repair of the CoS’s official residence is to get N10 billion while the computer software purchase for his office is purportedly expected to gulp about N10.1 billion and N290 million is allocated for purchase of vehicles.
Reacting to the report via a clarification on his X handle@femigbaja on Wednesday, Gbajabiamila said he lives in his private residence in Abuja, adding that the sum mischievously quoted by online bloggers and those he called fake news merchants are for renovating the Presidential Quarters in Dodan Barracks and the Vice President’s Lodge in Lagos, to overhaul the information management and communications facilities in the Presidency to meet modern standards and to provide vehicles for the staff of the Presidency.
The Chief of Staff said: “I have seen social media commentary regarding the 2024 Appropriation Bill, particularly the provisions under the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President.
“Owing to the erroneous nature of these reports, it has become necessary to clarify that there is no provision in the 2024 Appropriation Bill for the renovation of any residence for the Chief of Staff to the President. I live in my private residence.
“The sums mischievously quoted by online bloggers and fake news merchants are for renovating the Presidential Quarters in Dodan Barracks and the Vice President’s Lodge in Lagos, to overhaul the information management and communications facilities in the Presidency to meet modern standards and to provide vehicles for the staff of the Presidency.
“The sums proposed for these projects are clearly stated in the budget proposal and bear no resemblance to the deceptive online commentary.
“This administration welcomes and encourages scrutiny of government expenditure; this is why the Budget proposal is publicly available. However, healthy public debate about government actions requires us to be responsible with our utterances and engage based on facts rather than insinuations and falsehoods.”
Deji Elumoye in Abuja