The former Anambra governor, Peter Obi, has knocked the recent proposal by the Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FCT), Nyesom Wike, to build a N15 billion residence for the vice president, stating that 99.9% of Nigerians cannot afford such luxurious apartment.
He made this known on his X (formerly Twitter) handle on Monday, emphasizing the need for the government to reduce its expenses to reflect the current economic challenges the country is facing.
Recall that Wike said on Wednesday that the ministry is planning to spend the sum of N15 billion on constructing a new residence for the vice president, Kashim Shettima.
He disclosed this while defending the N61.5 billion 2023 supplementary budget of the FCT before the House of Representatives Committee on FCT.
Responding to the development, Obi said the news is shocking and disheartening given that Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world.
“The recent news about a budget provision of N15 billion for the construction of a new residence for the Vice President is both shocking and disheartening, considering the many important challenges facing our nation.
“Just recently in the Supplementary Budget, the sum of N2.5 billion was included for the renovation of the Vice President’s residence in Abuja, which means that he already has a residence.
“Again, during the budget presentation, I heard the sum of N3 billion was allocated for the renovation of the Vice President’s residence in Lagos. If we total all these sums, we would have budgeted the sum of N20.5 billion for the housing of the Vice President at this critical time when we are not just the world’s poverty capital, but more people falling into poverty, with so many Nigerians not knowing where their next meal will come from. Our health facilities have collapsed, and unemployment is skyrocketing.
“I am convinced that 99.9% of Nigerians can only dream of living in the current residence of the Vice President,” Obi said.
Furthermore, the former Anambra governor said that Nigerian leaders need to emulate the quality of profligacy, referencing the late General Murtala Mohammed turning down a land allocated to him to build 1004 flats in Lagos.
“Most Nigerians may not know that the popular 1004 flats in Lagos, was land allocated for the building of a Presidential Mansion for the then Head of State, General Murtala Mohammed.
“He sternly turned down the offer and instructed that the land should be used to build blocks of flats for civil servants. That is the kind of sacrificial leadership worth emulating. Our leaders must therefore stop the recklessness and insensitivity to the plight of the masses.
“We need leaders who show compassion and are willing to sacrifice for common progress and development. Such compassionate and frugal leaders are critical in our journey to the New Nigeria”, he added.
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I am a journalist and a political and socioeconomic analyst currently employed at Nairametrics. I pride myself on being a skilled wordsmith with a passion for delving into contemporary political issues on both a national and international scale. Additionally, I contribute research-based columns and op-eds to national publications.