The presidency says the yacht listed in the supplementary budget is a naval vessel and not for President Bola Tinubu.
“What was named as Presidential Yacht in the budget is an Operational Naval boat with specialized security gadgets suitable for high profile operational inspection and not for the use of the President,” Bayo Onanuga, special adviser to the president on information and strategy, said in a statement on Thursday.
“It is called presidential yacht by way of nomenclature because of the high-level security features.”
Onanuga said the naval boat was ordered by the navy under the previous administration.
READ ALSO: Navy Confirms Delivery Of N5 Billion Presidential Yacht, Faces Payment Crisis Over National Assembly Opposition
President Tinubu has consistently said that government is a continuum as he inherited both assets and liabilities of past administrations,” he said.
“The payment request for the boat was part of the committed obligation submitted by the office of the Chief of Naval Staff to the Ministry of Defence. The total of the submitted requests was in excess of N200 billion out which N62 billion was approved by the President.
“President Tinubu is focused on securing our country and territorial waters. The Federal Government under his leadership is investing more resources to enhance greater economic output from our oil and gas, marine and blue economy.”
The budgetary allocation of N5 billion for a “presidential yacht” had elicited outcries from Nigerians who were concerned about the government’s spending amid rising inflation in the country.
Earlier, Abubakar Bichi, chairman of the house of representatives committee on appropriations, said the budget for the presidential yacht has been transferred to student loans.
Bichi spoke on Thursday while briefing journalists after the passage of the supplementary budget.
“As far as we are concerned we don’t have that presidential yacht anymore. We have increased the student loan,” he said.