Following the breakdown of the 2016 budget of N6.08 trillion presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, it shows that the President and his Vice Yemi Osinbajo will spend about N2.2 billion on foodstuffs and catering materials, refreshment and meals, transport and travels, honorarium as well as sitting allowances in the 2016 fiscal year.

An analysis of the proposed N2.2 billion for the listed items shows that the President has compromised on his promised reduction in cost of running the government, as additional N710 million was added to the N1.490 billion ex-President Goodluck Jonathan budgeted for the same purpose in his 2015 budget.

It can be recalled that the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, in November, inaugurated the Efficiency Unit to assist the government cut the cost of governance. The minister also said that the unit was approved by the President so as to drive down the cost of running government, stressing that no amount of economic policies would deliver the desired results if the manner in which government money is expended is not carefully controlled.

She furthered that while much had been said about effects of corruption on the economy, little attention is given to the damaging effects of inefficiency and wastages. Pointing out that a review carried out by the ministry had discovered wide variations in terms of costs between departments and within agencies as there were currently no guidelines on spending

“In the few weeks I have spent as the Minister of Finance, it has become clear that without a radical intervention to manage the costs of government, no meaningful improvement in our nation will be forthcoming.

“No amount of fiscal innovation, financial re-engineering or other well intentioned economic policy will deliver the desired results, for as long as the manner in which government money is expended is not carefully controlled.” Adeosun said.

However, the breakdown of the budget does not show that the Buhari led administration is in a hurry to cut down cost in the process of running the government.

Office of the President

General Travels and Transport:

According to the budget document, N1.415 billion was allocated to the President for general travels and transport. This amount shows that additional N470.38 million was added to former President Jonathan’s N944.62 million for the same purpose in the 2015 budget.

The President is to spend the sum of N714.5m for local travels and N701.16m for international travels as compared to Jonathan’s N640.34m and N304.32m for the same purpose in 2015.

Foodstuffs and Catering Materials:

The budget document shows that the President will spend the sum of N114.9m on foodstuffs and catering materials, this shows an increase of N45.09m over that of the former President.

Honorarium and Sitting Allowances:

The President is to spend N307.64m on honorarium and sitting allowances as compared to the former President’s N223.24m for the same purpose in 2015.

Publicity and Advertisement:

The budget document shows that the President will spend N49.1m for publicity and advertisement as against Jonathan’s N29.8m in 2015.

Office of the Vice President

General Travels and Transport:

According to the budget document, N48m was allocated to the Vice President for general travels and transport in 2016 as against N33.86m in 2015.

The Vice President is to spend the sum of N13.3m for international travels and transport (training) and N13.9m for international travels and transport (others) as compared to Sambo’s N9.4m and N9.87m for the same purpose in 2015.

Foodstuffs and Catering Materials:

The budget document shows that the Vice President will spend the sum of N16.6m on foodstuffs and catering materials, N7.5m for refreshment and meals, this shows an increase of N4.84m, and N2.18m, respectively as compared to that of the former Vice President Sambo.

Honorarium and Sitting Allowances:

The Vice President is to spend N8.8m on honorarium and sitting allowances, this shows an increase of N1.88m as compared to that of the former President for the same purpose in 2015.

Publicity and Advertisement:

The budget document shows that the Vice President will spend N23.08m for publicity and advertisement in 2016, showing an increase of N6.79m as compared to that of Sambo in 2015.

Other expenditure for the office of the Vice President are maintenance services for N46.44, consultancy for N9.6m, fuel and lubricants for N24.9m, and other services for N22.3m respectively.