The House of Representatives has removed the controversial N5 billion budget allocation for a presidential yacht from the 2023 supplementary budget and moved the money to the student loan section, increasing the total budget for student loans to N10 billion.
The removal of the presidential yacht allocation comes after public outrage over the decision to include it in the budget, especially given the country’s current economic situation. The House Appropriations Committee Chairperson, Abubakar Bichi, said that the committee removed the item because they believe that student loans are a more important priority.
The Higher Education Act signed into law by President Tinubu in June was supposed to take effect in September, but the implementation has been delayed until January 2024. The Education Loan Fund was created by an Act and is to be domiciled and managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Despite public outcry, the House has retained the N28 billion allocation for the State House. The president has been criticized for budgeting N28 billion for the purchase of luxury cars for himself and the first lady, as well as the renovation of the president’s residence, among other spending for the State House.
The government also plans to spend another N2.9 billion on Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for the Presidential Villa, and another N2.9 billion to replace operational vehicles for the presidency.