The Bola Tinubu presidency has claimed that the project for the construction and renovation of the Vice President, Kashim Shettima’s residence was started and funded in 2010 by the administration of former president, Goodluck Jonathan.
This was stated in a release on Tuesday in Abuja by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity in the Office of the Vice President, Stanley Nkwocha which revealed that the Tinubu government inherited the project from its predecessors.
The statement also scolded Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) candidate in the February presidential election, for attempting to incite public outrage against the Bola Tinubu administration over a budgetary provision for the completion of the Vice President’s residence.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) had allotted N15.5billion in the 2024 budget plan for the refurbishment of the Vice President’s official house, which Obi described as shocking and sad, considering the economic challenges facing the country.
The statement reads: “Giving the reactions and invocations generated by Mr. Obi’s comments, however, it is necessary, for the sake of history, to clarify that the proposed plan for the construction of the Vice President’s official residence, for which a budgetary allocation was made in the 2024 budget by the FCT Administration, was awarded by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. It was not originated by the present administration. This, Mr. Obi knows but chose to play dumb, all in a bid to inflame a targeted group of Nigerians and, as usual, score cheap political goals, accolades and praises.
“The project, which was reinitiated in 2010 and was funded by the Jonathan administration, was abandoned. Appalled by the sorry state of the uncompleted building that has now been overtaken by weeds and reptiles over a decade after construction started about 13 years ago, the current FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, felt it would be a waste to allow such a project started with public funds to continue to lie fallow. Thus, in his wisdom and without the prompting of the Vice President, decided to resuscitate the building.
“We invite more cerebral Nigerians to crosscheck properly, which should be considered a waste between Obi’s tantrums because the project has attracted government’s attention, given the decision by the current administration to complete vital abandoned projects. What is more wasteful and reckless than abandoning an edifice to rot and depreciate, despite the amount that has been sunk into it over the years?
“Nigerians know that the issue of a befitting residence for the Vice President had been a recurring decimal in the budget of Nigeria since 2007. It did not start today; same for the residences of the Senate President and the House Speaker.
“The array of abandoned Federal Government projects littered all over the country is a national embarrassment that the current administration has taken a bold step to save the country from. This is why it has made it a priority that all abandoned projects must be completed before new ones are initiated, save for some on exceptional basis, either because of the need for strategic alignment or economic significance.”