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N26bn for meals, travels, others exceed 14 Teaching Hospitals’ allocation – SERAP sues Buhari

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit asking the Federal High Court in Abuja to stop President Muhammadu Buhari from spending the N26 billion 2022 presidency budget.

The estimate was allocated for local and foreign travels, meals and refreshments, sitting allowances, welfare packages and office building.

SERAP filed the suit: FHC/ABJ/CS/1361/2021 last Friday, seeking an order of mandamus to compel Buhari to publish spending details on the State House Medical Center since May 29, 2015, to date.

The organization wants a part of the N26 billion redirected to improve public healthcare facilities across the country.

SERAP is arguing that the government cannot continue to borrow to fund Nigeria’s budget until there is a substantial cut to the cost of governance.

The suit insists the Buhari administration has constitutional and fiduciary duties to ensure responsible budget spending and the well-being and prosperity of citizens.

Public money should stay within the limits of constitutional responsibilities, oath of office and comply with Chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), it read.

The suit filed by Kolawole Oluwadare and Ms Adelanke Aremo stressed that cutting waste and unnecessary spending would go a long way in addressing the budget deficit and debt problems.

The SERAP lawyers regretted that the N26 billion on travels, meals, refreshments and the State House Clinic presidential wing, surpasses the allocations for ongoing and new projects in 14 teaching hospitals combined.

“N19.17 billion is allocated to the following teaching hospitals: UNILAG Teaching Hospital—N1.69bn; ABU Teaching Hospital—N2.38bn; University College Hospital, Ibadan—N1.49bn; and UNN Teaching Hospital—N1.38bn.

“UNIBEN Teaching Hospital—N1.35bn; OAU Teaching Hospital—N1.35bn; UNILORIN Teaching Hospital—N982m; UNIJOS Teaching Hospital—N908m; University of Port Harcourt—N1.14bn; UNIMAID Teaching Hospital—N986m;

“Dan Fodio University Teaching Hospital—N987m; Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital—N2.49bn; UNIABUJA Teaching Hospital—N1.90bn; and ATBU Teaching Hospital—N947m”, SERAP noted.

The Federal High Court will fix a date for the hearing of the suit.(Dailypost)

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