The Federal Government is proposing to spend   N517.9m   this year on meals and refreshments   for the Presidency, the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, ministries of power and petroleum as well as their parastatals.

The amount is contained in the details of the 2015 budget breakdown, which was obtained by our correspondents in Abuja on Sunday.

The N517.9m proposal for refreshments and meals is 42.9 per cent or N158.94m higher than the   N359.94m approved for the offices and the MDAs   in 2014 .

Out of the N517.9m, a provision of N174.54m was made for refreshments and meals for the State House   in 2015.

The   N174.64m, according to the budget, is 7.4 per cent or N11.98m higher than the N162.55m approved in 2014.

For the office of the President, the budget breakdown revealed that a provision of N142.47m was made for 2015 for refreshments and meals.

However, nothing was mentioned as regards refreshments and meals for the President in the 2014 budget.

For the Vice-President, a provision of N25.58m was made for meals and refreshments.

The N25.58m represents   136.8 per cent increase over the N10.8m approved for the two items in the 2014 fiscal year.

However, while the State House Headquarters, Office of the President and the Vice President all have a combined budgetary provision of N342.59m for refreshments and meals, the 10 agencies under the presidency had a provision of just N67.4m for the same items.

They are the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals which has a provision of N8.49m; the Bureau for Public Enterprises, N14.72m; the National Emergency Management Agency,N14m; and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission N20m.

Others are the Bureau of Public Procurement, N5.52m; the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, N3.81m; and the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President, N838,758.

In the same vein, the Presidency’s budget for meal and refreshments could be described as a sharp contrast over what was budgeted for the same purpose in the ministries of power and petroleum resources, as well as agencies under them which have a combined total provision of N48.7m.

The total budget for refreshments and meals for the Federal Ministry of Power and its agencies is N11.61m while that of Petroleum Resources is N37.1m.

In the 2014 Appropriation Act, the Petroleum ministry got N39.65m. That of the Ministry of Power for the same year could not be obtained.

Of the eight agencies under the Federal Ministry of Power, only four had allocations for refreshments and meals.

A breakdown of the proposed budgetary allocation for 2015 shows that the headquarters of the Power ministry has N4.96m; the National Rural Electrification Agency, N2m; the Electricity Management Services Limited, N4m and the Nigeria Electricity Management Limited,   N652,111.

Also, of the six agencies under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, only two have no allocations for refreshment and meals. These   are the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency.

The headquarters of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources has an allocation of N27.41m; the Petroleum Training Institute, N1.81m; the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, N5m and the Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority, N2.9m.

The 2015 budget has a N4.358tn expenditure figure made up of N412bn for Statutory Transfers; N943bn for Debt Servicing; N2.61tn for Recurrent (Non-Debt) and N634bn for Capital Expenditure (inclusive of Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme).

While the recurrent vote is 85.8 per cent of aggregate budget, the capital expenditure is just 14.2 per cent of the aggregate spending (inclusive of SURE-P).

Copyright PUNCH.

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