2024 budget: Gbajabiamila blows hot over ‘fake news’ about Chief of Staff’s residence

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The Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila has said that there is no provision in the 2024 budget for the renovation of any residence for the Chief of Staff to the President.

Gbajabiamila made the clarification in an X post on Wednesday, in response to a media report that the Chief of Staff’s office is set to get a total allocation of N21 billion in next year’s budget estimates presented to the National Assembly by the president in November.

“A further breakdown of the proposed budgetary allocations shows that the project for reconstruction and repair of the CoS’s official residence is to get N10 billion.

“Computer software purchase is expected to gulp about N10.1 billion and N290 million is the allocation for purchase of vehicles,” Peoples Gazette reported.

The online newspaper said it obtained the data from the breakdown of the proposed estimates as uploaded on the website of the Budget Office of the Federation.

In his post, Gbajabiamila denied that his office is set to get budgetary allocations running into billions in 2024.

“I have seen social media commentary regarding the 2024 Appropriation Bill, particularly the provisions under the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President. Owing to the erroneous nature of these reports, it has become necessary to clarify that there is no provision in the 2024 Appropriation Bill for the renovation of any residence for the Chief of Staff to the President. I live in my private residence.

“The sums mischievously quoted by online bloggers and fake news merchants are for renovating the Presidential Quarters in Dodan Barracks and the Vice President’s Lodge in Lagos, to overhaul the information management and communications facilities in the Presidency to meet modern standards and to provide vehicles for the staff of the Presidency.

“The sums proposed for these projects are clearly stated in the budget proposal and bear no resemblance to the deceptive online commentary,” he said.

He said that the budget proposal is publicly available because the Bola Tinubu administration welcomes and encourages scrutiny of government expenditure.

“However, healthy public debate about government actions requires us to be responsible with our utterances and engage based on facts rather than insinuations and falsehoods,” the top presidential aide said.

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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist who has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He's an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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