Senior Presidential Aide Clarifies Misconceptions on 2023 Supplementary Budget

Temitope Ajayi sheds light on the purpose behind the provisions for a presidential yacht and State House vehicles

In a recent article, Temitope Ajayi, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, addresses the misconceptions surrounding two line items in the 2023 supplementary budget – the provision for a presidential yacht and over N6 billion for State House vehicles. Ajayi criticizes what he sees as a pattern of sensational reporting that lacks context and misrepresents facts, causing confusion among the public.

The two items have sparked discussions on social media, with concerns raised about their necessity given the current economic situation. Ajayi emphasizes that President Bola Tinubu did not request a presidential yacht, and the inclusion of such an item is from the Navy, presumably for operational reasons. He urges the budget office to provide explanations for these expenditures amid the country’s economic challenges.

Ajayi acknowledges the historical issue of oversimplified budget descriptions, citing an example from 2016 when an Enterprise Resource Planning project worth over N300 million was labeled as a “website.” He calls for a more nuanced understanding of budgetary allocations to avoid public confusion.

Addressing concerns about the N6 billion provision for State House vehicles, Ajayi clarifies that the budget is not solely for the President and Vice President. He highlights the extensive use of personal vehicles by senior aides and the poor state of the existing vehicle pool. Ajayi explains that the provision caters to the needs of hundreds of civil servants, political aides, and even the State House Press Corps.

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Ajayi concludes by urging for more substantial and nuanced reporting in the age of social media, emphasizing the importance of accurate information over sensationalism.

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