The Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, has explained that the Presidency is finding it challenging to implement its programmes and perform optimally due to its inability to draw its budgetary allocations in full.
Umar said this on Sunday while briefing members of the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter- Governmental Affairs.
While receiving the legislators who were in the State House on an oversight visit, he lamented that some of the facilities in the Villa have become old and rickety.
The legislators also inspected several State House facilities, including the new site for the proposed VIP State House Clinic, which is located within the precincts of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa; slated for completion in 2023.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari led State House officials, to receive the Senate committee members.
Explaining the challenges posed by non-release of the State House annual budgetary allocations, the permanent secretary said that State House got N5.08bn of its N8.69bn vote in the 2018 fiscal year.
However, the remaining sum of N3.62 bn has not released, Umar said.
For 2019, he said that out of the N6.96bn budgeted, only about N2bn was released.
He, however, said that 2020’s N4.88bn appropriation was released in full.
Reacting to questions from the press, the permanent secretary noted that the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the economy.
Quizzed how the State House management has handled the challenges so far, he said, “First and foremost, let me say that we are privileged to be in this position, to be able to discharge these huge responsibilities and I’m also happy that you raised the issue of funding challenges.”