Presidency says Presidential Yacht was Buhari administration’s idea

Bayo Onanuga

The Presidency has sidestepped responsibility for the controversial Presidential Yacht, saying the idea was mooted and initiated by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

A statement by the Special Asviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr Bayo Onanuga, said that President Tinubu inherited it from his predecessor.

The clarifications were contained in a release entitled: “THE FACTS ON THE NAVAL BOAT IN 2023 SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET.”

The release is reproduced hereunder, in extenso:

“Following public reactions over the provision for what is termed presidential yacht and other line items in the 2023 Supplementary Appropriation presented to the National Assembly, it is important to provide some clarifications.

“First, we need to make clear that President Bola Tinubu’s administration respects the views of Nigerians on all matters of public concern. We thus consider it very imperative to clear any misconception and misunderstanding of the issues.

“1. What was named as Presidential Yacht in the budget is an Operational Naval boat with specialized security gadgets suitable for high profile operational inspection and not for the use of the President. It is called presidential yacht by way of nomenclature because of the high level security features.

“2. The Naval boat was ordered by the navy under the previous administration. President Tinubu has consistently said that government is a continuum as he inherited both assets and liabilities of past administrations.

“3. The payment request for the boat was part of the committed obligation submitted by the office of the Chief of Naval Staff to the Ministry of Defence. The total of the submitted requests was in excess of N200 billion out which N62 billion was approved by the President.

“4. President Tinubu is focused on securing our country and territorial waters. The Federal Government under his leadership is investing more resources to enhance greater economic output from our oil and gas, marine and blue economy.

“In President Tinubu, we have a leader who understands the economic challenges being faced by the masses. His administration is working very hard to confront and surmount those challenges. Nigerians will soon get the benefits of the ongoing reforms that will certainly lead to a buoyant and improved quality of life for all citizens.”

Bayo Onanuga
Special Adviser to the President on Information & Strategy
November 2, 2023

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