Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has signed into law a $2.8 billion supplementary budget that includes funding for new bulletproof cars for himself and his wife, despite widespread criticism from citizens facing a cost-of-living crisis.
The budget, which was approved by lawmakers on Nov. 2, also includes allocations for a presidential yacht, official vehicles for the first lady’s office, and renovations to the president’s residential quarters.
The spending plan was initially proposed by Tinubu as a means to address “urgent issues” such as defence and security.
The presidency defended the provision for the yacht, describing it as an operational naval boat with specialised security gadgets.
However, specific allocations for such areas have been overshadowed by the allocation of funds for items seen as luxuries items and on renovations for the president’s residential quarters.
Opponents of the budget have argued that the spending is unnecessary and insensitive to the plight of ordinary Nigerians, who are struggling to make ends meet amid rising inflation and economic hardship.
Africa’s most populous nation is grappling with double-digit inflation, foreign currency shortages, a weakening naira, widespread insecurity and crude oil theft.
Tinubu, who was sworn into office in May, has been under pressure from unions to offer relief to households and workers. He has asked Nigerians to be patient with reforms.