Femi Gbajabiamila, chief of staff (CoS) to President Bola Tinubu, says he lives in his private residence contrary to claims that there is a provision for the renovation of his house in the 2024 appropriation bill.
Gbajabiamila made the clarification in a post shared on his X page on Tuesday, following social media reports that N10 billion has been earmarked for the renovation of the residence of the chief of staff to the president.
“I have seen social media commentary regarding the 2024 Appropriation Bill, particularly the provisions under the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President,” he wrote.
“Owing to the erroneous nature of these reports, it has become necessary to clarify that there is no provision in the 2024 Appropriation Bill for the renovation of any residence for the Chief of Staff to the President. I live in my private residence.
“The sums mischievously quoted by online bloggers and fake news merchants are for renovating the Presidential Quarters in Dodan Barracks and the Vice President’s Lodge in Lagos, to overhaul the information management and communications facilities in the Presidency to meet modern standards and to provide vehicles for the staff of the Presidency.
“The sums proposed for these projects are clearly stated in the budget proposal and bear no resemblance to the deceptive online commentary.”
He added that the Tinubu administration welcomes and encourages scrutiny of government expenditure, noting that the budget proposal is publicly available.
“However, healthy public debate about government actions requires us to be responsible with our utterances and engage based on facts rather than insinuations and falsehoods,” he added.
President Tinubu on November 29, presented the 2024 budget proposal of N27 trillion to the national assembly for consideration.
An analysis of the proposed budget showed that the presidency through the office of the chief of staff is expected to spend N5 billion for the renovation of Dodan Barracks Presidential Lodge and N5 billion for the renovation of vice President quarters in Lagos.
Dodan Barracks was the official seat of government under former military heads of state, including Generals Yakubu Gowon, Murtala Muhammed, Olusegun Obasanjo and Muhammadu Buhari, as well as the supreme military headquarters during the Nigerian civil war.
Since the government relocated its capital to Abuja in 1992, Dodan Barracks has housed the State House liaison office.
The office acts as a vital link between the presidency and the southwest geopolitical zone, fostering strong communication and collaboration.
Additionally, the liaison office provides essential protocol and logistical support for high-ranking government officials visiting or passing through Lagos.
Analysis of budget documents reveals a significant increase in funding for the office of the chief of staff in the proposed 2024 budget.
This allocation, currently awaiting deliberation by the national assembly, stands at N21.22 billion, marking the highest in the past five years.
In 2020, the federal government allocated N24.35 million to the office of the chief of staff. The figure increased significantly in 2021 to N76.55 million.
The upward trend continued in 2022 and 2023, with budget allocations of N526.47 million and N517.95 million, respectively.