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Reject Wike’s Plan To Spend N15bn On ‘Befitting Residence’ For VP, Group Tells Akpabio

SERAP wants Akpabio “to promptly reject the plan by the Minister of the FCT, Nysom Wike to spend N15 billion...."


A photo combination of Nyesom Wike, Godswill Akpabio and Kashim Shettima.

 

The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, has been urged not to approve an alleged plan by the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike to build a ‘befitting residence’ for the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima.

In a letter dated December 2, the group – Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) – specifically wants Akpabio “to promptly reject the plan by the Minister of the FCT, Nysom Wike to spend N15 billion for the construction of ‘a befitting residence’ for the Vice President, Mr Kashim Shettima.”

It called on Akpabio to “assert Senate’s authority and constitutional oversight roles to reject the N2.8 billion on publicity for the FCTA and other proposed wasteful and unnecessary spending that may be contained in the 2023 supplementary budget and the 2024 budget proposed by President Bola Tinubu.”

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This was disclosed in a statement on Sunday by SERAP’s deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare.

“The Senate has the constitutional duties to ensure that Mr Wike’s proposed spending is entirely consistent and compatible with constitutional provisions including his oath of office. All public officials remain subject to the rule of law,” the statement read.

“The National Assembly including the Senate has a constitutional responsibility to address the country’s debt crisis, including by rejecting wasteful and unnecessary spending to satisfy the personal comfort and lifestyles of public officials.

“The National Assembly cannot continue to fail to fulfil its oversight function. The Senate must assert and demonstrate its independence by checking and rejecting all wasteful and unnecessary spending by the executive.”

According to the group, it would be a grave violation of the public trust and constitutional oath of office for the Senate to approve the plan to spend N15 billion on ‘a befitting residence’ for the vice president at a time when the Federal Government is set to spend 30% (that is, N8.25 trillion) of the country’s 2024 budget of N27.5 trillion on debt service costs.