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Nigerian Presidency Disowns N5 Billion Presidential Yacht, Says Its for ‘Navy Operations’ 

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ABUJA, Nigeria – In the wake of widespread public scrutiny, the Nigerian government has stepped forward to clarify that the allocation for a Presidential Yacht in the 2023 supplementary budget is not intended for personal use by President Bola Tinubu, but rather for the operational activities of the Nigerian Navy.

Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, issued a press statement on Thursday, November 2, 2023, shedding light on the controversy.

He pointed out that the procurement was initially proposed in the budget as part of the committed obligations submitted by the Chief of Naval Staff to the Ministry of Defence.

“The so-called Presidential Yacht is actually an operational vessel for the Navy, equipped with special security features,” Onanuga explained.

“The nomenclature ‘Presidential Yacht’ merely refers to the level of the security equipment on board, and not its designated user.”

The supplementary budget had originally earmarked N5.09 billion for the yacht, raising eyebrows across the nation and stirring heated debate. However, following the uproar, the House of Representatives took decisive action to remove the contentious allocation.

In addition, the House of Representatives redirected the funds, boosting the provision for student loans from N5.5 billion to N10 billion, reflecting a responsive adjustment to public demand and priorities.

Addressing the nation’s concerns, Onanuga’s statement underscored President Tinubu’s respect for public sentiment and his commitment to transparency.

“President Tinubu has inherited both the assets and liabilities from previous administrations, and he views government as a continuum,” he stated.

Of the over N200 billion requested for various naval commitments, President Tinubu approved N62 billion, with a focus on fortifying Nigeria’s territorial waters to bolster the nation’s economy, particularly through oil, gas, and marine resources.

Onanuga reassured Nigerians that President Tinubu’s administration is acutely aware of the economic hardships faced by the populace and is actively engaged in reforms aimed at elevating the quality of life.

“The investments being made today are part of a broader effort to secure and develop our nation’s blue economy, with long-term benefits for all citizens,” he concluded.

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