Former Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi has taken a swipe at the Federal Government for budgeting N15 billion to build a new residence for the Vice President, Kashim Shettima.
Obi, who lost the last presidential election to President Bola Tinubu has been attacking the new government consistently, picking holes in whatever the government does.
He took to his X handle (formerly Twitter) on Monday to express his view on the recent budget of N15 billion to the VP’s mansion.
According to Obi, the recent news about a budget provision of N15 billion for the construction of a new residence for the Vice President is both shocking and disheartening.
He said: “The recent news about a budget provision of N15 billion for the construction of a new residence for the Vice President is both shocking and disheartening, considering the many important challenges facing our nation.
“Just recently in the Supplementary Budget, the sum of N2.5 billion was included for the renovation of the Vice President’s residence in Abuja, which means that he already has a residence.”
He added that during the during the budget presentation, he heard the sum of N3 billion was allocated for the renovation of the Vice President’s residence in Lagos.
According to him, “If we total all these sums, we would have budgeted the sum of N20.5 billion for the housing of the Vice President at this critical time when we are not just the world’s poverty capital, but more people are falling into poverty, with so many Nigerians not knowing where their next meal will come from. Our health facilities have collapsed, and unemployment is skyrocketing.”
He stated that he was convinced that 99.9% of Nigerians could only dream of living in the current residence of the Vice President.
Obi added that several people employed in the universities are not being paid, citing an example with the salary of a professor in a Nigerian university, which he said is about N400,000, which without removing tax is about N5 million a year.
“What we have budgeted for the housing of the Vice President who is already luxuriously housed is, therefore, the annual salary of about 3000 professors! This is the finance needed to develop the much-needed human capital,” he said.
Obi said the budget of N5 billion for student loans, which is yet to be disbursed is only a tiny percentage of the cost of the Vice President’s new home.
“We are projecting to use four times the amount for educating all Nigerian indigent students to house the Vice President, and we are being told there is nothing wrong with us.
“I am sure the major teaching hospitals in Nsukka, Lagos, Ibadan, and Zaria did not receive this much capital vote in the budget this year. We have had leaders that were exemplary in the past,” he said.
He added that most Nigerians might not know that the popular 1004 flats in Lagos, was a land allocated for the building of a Presidential Mansion for the then Head of State, General Murtala Mohammed.
Obi said Mohammed sternly turned down the offer and instructed that the land should be used to build blocks of flats for civil servants, saying that is the kind of sacrificial leadership worth emulating.
He charged the nation’s leaders to stop the recklessness and insensitivity to the plight of the masses.