The Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijani Umar, has lamented that the non-release of budgetary allocation to the State House in full had become a challenge as some of the facilities at the nation’s seat of power had become obsolete.
Umar made this known while fielding questions from State House reporters at the weekend when the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs visited the site during its oversight function to know the level of utilization of budgetary allocation to State House.
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He said that out of about N8.699 billion budgeted for State House in the 2018 fiscal year, only about N5.083 billion which was about 58 percent was released, leaving an outstanding balance of about N3.616 billion.
The permanent secretary told the committee that in 2019 out of about N6.955 billion budgeted, only about N2 billion which was about 38 percent of the total sum was released, leaving an outstanding balance of about N4 billion as the shortfall.
He, however, said that in 2020, the sum of about N4.878 billion was appropriated and fully released.
Asked how the management of the State House was coping with the funding challenges, he said, “First and foremost, let me say that we are privileged to be in this position, to be able to discharge these huge responsibilities and I’m also happy that you raised the issue of funding challenges.
“I would like to say that the State House needs quite a formidable level of support and improvement in the funding, especially because we are dealing with phasing out a lot of infrastructure that have come to the end of their lifespan,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the site for the building of VIP State House clinic within the precincts of the Aso Rock Villa.
Present at the meeting were the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, members of the senate committee and the management staff of the State House.
The state of the art clinic which will serve the Nigerian populace is expected to be completed in the next two years before the end of the Buhari-led administration.