Presidential crocodiles, others get N65m in 2018 budget
• Refreshment to gulp N136m
• N132m voted for cooking gas, others
• Fashola restates FG’s commitment to improved power supply as sector operates under N400b deficit
If the 2018 budgetary estimates submitted to the National Assembly on November 7 by President Muhammadu Buhari is passed, the crocodiles, birds and other wildlife in the Presidential Villa would be entitled to N65.431 million for their upkeep for the fiscal year.
The amount is part of sundry expenditure in the State House miscellaneous budget in the country’s N8.612 trillion spending plan before the National Assembly for consideration.
The list or population of the wildlife is not indicated as in the case of personnel for Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) personnel cost.
Other sundry expenditure plan in the State House includes N135.668 million for meals and refreshments, and another N132.198 million to carter for cooking gas and fuel for power generating sets and motor vehicles.
The breakdown is as follows: Generator fuel N45.678 million; motor vehicles gas, N67.950 million and cooking gas N18.570 million.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has restated Federal Government’s commitment to boost power supply in the country, saying the implementation of the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) was on course.
He said the past 60 years of inadequate and unsteady power in the country could not be resolved in four years, stressing that it would take some time.
Fashola made the assertion while speaking at a PSRP media workshop organised by his ministry to explain the direction of the various agencies under the power sector towards improving electricity supplies in the country.
He pointed out that after privatisation, the citizens who were eager to see improved power supply were disappointed that they did not see what they had expected.
He, however, said that was because there was still much work to do, which results would take time to manifest.
His words: “After we have done it by ourselves for 60 years, it didn’t work. Then we privatized the power sector. Is four years enough for everything to be normal? But ask yourself in the last one year or nine months, is your experience getting better? It is a journey. It is mixed blessings here and there.
“One of our fearless critics called me and asked what we were doing. In the past four days, we have had electricity uninterrupted. In some places, it is two hours and in some others, it is six hours but it is not going to happen in one day.”
The minister maintained that as efforts to incremental power supply continues, anything that adds as small as one kilowatts of electricity supply is an improvement.
Earlier in his presentation on electricity market reset under the PSRP, Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Sanusi Garba, said the market was operating under a deficit of over N400 billion.
He indicated that by 2018, the commission would effect tariff review, adding that it had mandated the Distribution Companies to conclude the enumeration of electricity consumers within the next six months.
He noted that according to current statistics from DisCos, the number of electricity consumers is 7.5 million, which implies that fewer people were paying bills for electricity consumed.
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