Presidential Yacht: Tinubu unaware as Senate halts procurement
The Nigerian Senate Committee on Navy, led by Chairman Senator Gbenga Daniel, has successfully averted the procurement of a Presidential Yacht in a move that underscores prudent fiscal management.
Recall that since the news of the intended procurement leaked in the media, it has generated serious controversy with many Nigerians pointing accusing fingers at the presidency for being insensitive.
However, Otunba Daniel, in a meeting with the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, this morning, has revealed that the allocated fund for the initial procurement will be redirected towards the acquisition of critical operational equipment.
Following a comprehensive meeting, a rigorous reevaluation of priorities was undertaken.
The outcome of this deliberation resulted in the decision to repurpose the allocated funds. Specifically, the resources originally earmarked for the Presidential Yacht will now be redirected to acquire more critical operational equipment urgently needed to enhance ongoing efforts against challenges such as oil theft, oil bunkering, and pipeline vandalization.
It is worthy to note that the Presidential Yacht in question is an operational vessel equipped with specialized security gadgets tailored for high-profile operational inspections, rather than earmarked for the exclusive use of the President.
The order for this yacht was initiated by the previous administration, and the equipment has been delivered. However, the outstanding payment for the yacht remains unresolved.
The procurement of this yacht was initially part of the committed obligations submitted by the office of the Chief of Naval Staff to the Ministry of Defence. Notably, the total value of these submitted requests exceeded a substantial N200 billion. Regrettably, only a fraction, approximately N62 billion, was graciously approved by the President.
Moreover, it has come to light that the new administration led by President Bola Tinubu was reportedly unaware of the existence of the Presidential Yacht, further raising questions about the necessity of the procurement.