By Yusuf Alli
When President-elect Muhammau Buhari moves into the State House after the May 29 handover, he will be confronted with N8.185,575,211.50 debts.
President Goodluck Jonathan will on May 28 conduct Buhari round the Villa – the seat of power in Abuja where facilities are said to be ageing.
About N3,647,793, 305.76 is needed to fix the infrastructure at the Villa.
These highlights are contained in a report submitted to the Federal Government Transition Committee, which is headed by Vice President Namadi Sambo.
The committee is expected to submit its report today to the Ahmed Joda-led APC Transition Committee.
The liabilities include contracts/service providers (N1,234,913,628.92), staff claims (N1,238,876,080.16), local contracts commitments and liabilities, including Julius Berger Nigeria (N6, 946,699, 131.34).
The report said: “The President had on December 3 last year approved the release of N3,394,168,460.95 for the payment of recurrent/overhead debts and capital debts due to other contractors, consultants and service providers. This is yet to be released by the Federal Ministry of Finance, it said.
President Jonathan, according to the report, on April 15 directed the Coordinating Minister for the Economy/Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to look into the State House appeal for the release of at least N4billion to make part-payments out of the total outstanding debts of N8,185,575,2111.50 “to sustain the existing mutual and cordial relationships with the owed firms. This is still being awaited”.
The report said the N8.1b liabilities are outside the expenses on the renovation of the Defence House, the main residence/ president’s office, Aguda House/ Vice President’s office and other guest houses under the transition programme.
“The bills for these transition programme works are yet to be received and will be additional to the 2015 annual Service Level Agreement for the State House Facilities with an annual average commitment of N3,531,793,631.77 certified for 2014,” the report added.
Facilities at the State House have started aging and the budgetary provision increasingly becoming inadequate.
The report said: “The primary challenge facing the State House has been the inadequacy of successive budgetary appropriations. The State House annual appropriations do not match its actual activities, thereby leading to regular recourse to additional funding from Intervention Fund from the Federal Ministry of Finance.
“About 283 of the temporary staff not found eligible for regularisation were with the approval of His Excellency, the President given contract. appointments renewable annually based on performance and fitness.
“ However, payment of their salaries(an average of N8million per month) is from State House overheads provision, which remains a huge challenge to State House.
“The existing infrastructure for mechanical, electrical and associated components have aged and are performing well beyond their design lives.
“The proposal for their replacement/ upgrade has been reviewed and certified by the Bureau of Public Procurement in the total sum of N3,647,793, 305.76. However due to paucity of funds, phased implementation is being adopted for the most vital and critical works, starting with Phase I in the sum of N693, 119,509.55
“Inadequate office space to accommodate staff of the State House and inadequate operational vehicles for the efficient discharge of the activities of the various departments and units of the State House, including shuttle buses within the State House Complex and between the State House and the State House Medical Centre.”
By Yusuf Alli