• President = N301m: foodstuff/catering materials; N30.9m = refreshment/meals
  • President = N156m: foodstuff/catering materials; N N20m = refreshment/meals

THE cost of feeding the families of President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo at public expense will more than double in 2022 as inflation continues to push up the prices of food items, reports Premium Times on Thursday.

The online newspaper, making reference to the 2022 budget, reported that Nigerian taxpayers will have to pay twice as much as it took them in the 2021 budget to feed the President and his deputy in 2022 as prices of food continue to rise.

The newspaper described the scenario as ironic, and rightly so, because Nigerian workers who are the principal taxpayers are themselves stagnated on the same income level, with majority of them in the states and local governments as well as their counterparts in the informal sector on starvation wages which render many families daily struggling to feed themselves.

According to the report, “[f]ood inflation reached its highest level in 12 years in March, with the average price of food 22.95 per cent more expensive than a year ago. While the rise has slowed in the last six months, headline and food inflation remained significantly high at 16.63 per cent and 19.57 per cent respectively in September, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

“As prices of goods and services rise across the country, millions struggle daily to buy food with a naira that has fallen 32 per cent between September 2020 and October 2021 at the parallel market. Nigeria relies on imports to meet domestic demand for key food such as fish, sugar, wheat (used for bread production), and maize and soybeans, vital for poultry feeds.”

Premium Times noted that in the breakdown of the 2022 budget estimate being looked at by the National Assembly for approval shows that President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo are to spend a total of N457 million on food.

“That is more than twice what was allocated for food in 2021 and the previous years.

“In 2021, N195.5 million was approved for the feeding expenses for the two offices. While Mr Buhari received N124 million, Mr Osinbajo got N71 million.

“The same amounts applied in 2020, 2019 and 2018. The figure was N115 million in 2017 and N103 million in 2016.

For next year, the president’s office will spend N301 million on foodstuff and catering materials supplies, while the vice president’s bill was put at N156 million.

Likewise, refreshments and meals will take N50.9 million for the two highest offices. A total of N30.6 million was allocated for the president while N20 million was slated for the vice president.

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