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Nigeria: $6m presidential Yacht purchase rejected by parliament

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Nigeria’s lower chamber of parliament has rejected the government’s plan to purchase a presidential yacht for $6 million. The decision came in response to public outcry over perceived extravagance during a severe economic crisis.

President Bola Tinubu, took office in May with a promise to reduce wasteful spending and alleviate financial hardships. However, he proposed the yacht’s acquisition in a supplementary budget submitted to the National Assembly. However, human rights activists and citizens criticized the move, highlighting the absolutely economic disparities in the country.

In response to the public’s concerns, lawmakers redirected the $6 million allocation to boost the student loan budget, doubling its funding. This decision reflects a shift in priorities toward addressing pressing economic and social challenges.

Despite the controversy surrounding the yacht purchase, President Tinubu’s spokesperson, Temitope Ajayi, clarified that the request for the yacht originated from the navy, citing operational requirements.

The approved budget also included substantial allocations for State House expenditures, such as luxury vehicles and the construction of a presidential office complex. Additionally, $15 million was set aside for the presidential air fleet.

This debate comes as President Tinubu grapples with mounting pressure over the cost of living crisis and the sharp depreciation of the Nigerian naira against the US dollar. The country’s annual inflation rate reached 26.7% in September, according to official statistics.

Additional source: AfricaNews AP and BBC

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