Reject Wike’s N15 billion ‘befitting residence’ for VP, SERAP urges Senate
Socio-economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, to use his position to reject plan by the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nysom Wike, to spend N15 billion for the construction of ‘a befitting residence’ for the Vice President, Kashim Shettima.
SERAP also urged him to assert the Senate’s authority and constitutional oversight roles to reject the N2.8 billion on publicity for the FCTA and other proposed wasteful and unnecessary spending that may be contained in the 2023 supplementary budget and the 2024 budget proposed by President Bola Tinubu.
In a letter at the weekend, signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said the plan to spend N15 billion on ‘a befitting residence’ for the vice president is a fundamental breach of the Nigerian Constitution and the country’s anti-corruption and human rights obligations.
SERAP said: “The Senate has the constitutional duties to ensure that Wike’s proposed spending is entirely consistent and compatible with constitutional provisions, including his oath of office. All public officials remain subject to the rule of law.”
It added that the National Assembly, including the Senate, has a constitutional responsibility to address the country’s debt crisis, by rejecting wasteful and unnecessary spending to satisfy the personal comfort and lifestyles of public officials.
SERAP lamented that the Federal Government also plans to borrow N7.8 trillion to fund the 2024 budget, noting that Nigeria’s public debt stood at 87.4 trillion naira as of June with 38 per cent owed to external creditors including multilateral and commercial lenders.
SERAP further urged the Senate President to refer to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) the allegations of corruption in the spending of the previously approved N7 billion for the construction of a new residence for the vice president.
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