The Nigerian Navy on Friday said that it had taken delivery of the controversial presidential yacht captured in the 2023 supplementary budget submitted to the National Assembly.
The Director of Information, Nigerian Navy, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, told The PUNCH in an interview on Friday that the yacht had been in the country since June, 2023.
He further said that the yacht has not been used because it hasn’t been paid for.
Vaughan said the service made a “long overdue request” for the replacement of the defunct presidential yacht during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari. He stressed that the yacht was for training.
“It was delivered in June 2023. We have not used it yet.”
When asked if the inability to pay for the yacht was responsible for the delay in using it, he stated, “Correct. It’s tied to the non-payment.”
Investogist reported that the Federal House of Representatives has approved the N2.17 trillion supplementary budget, without the Presidential yacht.
The House had on Thursday approved the budget transmitted to it by President Tinubu, but first transferred the money budgeted for the yacht to student loans.
Abubakar Bichi, chairman of the house of representatives committee on appropriations briefed journalists after the passage of the supplementary budget.
He stated that the presidential yacht was not contained in the approved supplementary budget, adding that the student loan budgetary allocation was increased.
“As far as we are concerned we don’t have that presidential yacht anymore. We have increased the student loan,” he said.
“We have increased the student Loan. If you can recall, the student loan was N5bn in the budget, but now we have increased it from N5bn to N10bn so that our students will be able to access that facility for them to be able to go to school and to be able to afford them,” the lawmaker said.
However, on Friday, the Senate Chief Whip, Ali Ndume, who represents Borno South, during an interview on Arise TV said that the presidential yacht had been signed and delivered before the public outcry, even though it had not been paid for.
“The deal for the yacht has been agreed, signed, and delivered but not paid for,” he noted.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.