New VP Residence for Shettima vs The U.S. VP Residence: How Tinubu’s Govt is Wasteful and W!cked! [Photos] — Obiasogu David

Newsie Events/Opinion

Here are the facts…

New VP Shettima Residence
US VP Residence

The latest worm to creep out of the “can of worms” in Tinubu’s govt is the newly-commissioned Vice President house, built for Shettima.

New VP Residence Commissioning

The date was June 7th. Tinubu, flanked by his enablers – Godswill Akpabio, Wike, and others – “proudly” commissioned the N21 billion Vice President’s Residence. The house bow becomes the official residence of the Vice Presidents of Nigeria. Shettima is yet to move in.

Some details about the new residence…

The house which is located at the “Three Arms Zone,” in Aso Rock, was initiated and started in 2010, by Goodluck Jonathan. At the time, it was awarded for N7 billion. The contractor was Julius Berger.

Osibanjo confirmed that the building was 85% completed before Jonathan left office in 2015. N6 billion had already been spent on it. What remained were some exterior touches and interior furnishing. Picture proof👇

It’s worth empathizing that Nigeria already has an official and a very befitting residence for the Vice President. That’s the Akinola Aguda House – that’s where Shettima currently lives.

The residence was constructed in the late 1980s, under Shehu Shaghari, just few years after Murtala Muhammed moved Nigeria’s capital from Lagos to Abuja in 1976. It’s initially built to serve as the Presidential Lodge & Guest House Complex – and it’d be a temporary official residence for the President.

But when Babangida took over, he constructed the Aso Rock Presidential Villa and moved in on December 12, 1991. From that day, the Aguda house was reserved as the official residence of the Vice President.

Now, when Buhari took over, Osibanjo chose to stay at the Aguda House. Jonathan’s VO, Namadi Sambo took Osibanjo on a tour around the house on May 28th, 2015, a day before he and Buhari were sworn in.

On 27th February, 2016, Osibanjo publicly rejected the new Vice Presidential residence. He said it’s the brainchild of Jonathan’s administration and was a waste of money – because the existing residence, Aguda House is of “high standard, with enough space, and befitting to be the official residence of the VP.”

He added that “the priority of Buhari’s govt wasn’t to complete the new VP residence.” So, for both the 2016 and 2017 budgets of Buhari’s govt, no provisions was made for the completion of the new VP’s residence.

Surprisingly, late in 2017, Buhari’s govt secretly allocated money to continue the construction of the building. In fact, they allocated N250 million to build a gatemen house in the residence which they had earlier rejected.

When it leaked, it attracted resounding rejection from everyone. In fact, the senate committee on FCT, chaired by Dino Melaye asked that the entire project be halted immediately.

So, the building was left that way. But then, security officials – including the Military – have continued to guard it, even when it’s deserted.

Now…,Tinubu’s govt came in and, in their first year, of all the important projects to complete in the FCT, they chose the Vice Presidential residence – for obvious reasons – to l00t.

On November 30th, 2023, when FCT Minister, Wike was defending his FCT Supplementary budget which totaled N61 billion, he revealed that they allocated N15 billion to complete the almost-completed new VP residence. It happened on the floor of the House of Reps Committee on FCT.

Interestingly, House of Reps members passed the budget with speed, without any changes at all. Of course, it was expected because Tinubu was the one who sent the budget to them, on Nov 28th, 2023, and ordered them to give it “accelerated hearing.”

In his defense, Wike said the building would be redesigned and reconstructed. That’s why the amount was that high – N15 billion. But of course, when the building was completed, it still carried the initial design. Nothing was pulled down from the structure.

More strikingly, the reconstruction of the building consumed more than N21 billion as against the N15 billion allocated to it in the FCT Supplementary budget – with a huge N6 billion difference.

Here’s what’s more revealing…
Tinubu signed the N2.17 trillion general Supplementary budget into law on Nov 8th, 2023. In that budget N2.5 billion was also allocated to renovate the Aguda House (the other VP residence where Shettima is currently staying). Also, N3 billion was allocated to renovate the VP residence in Lagos that Shettima hardly even visits.

So, with the new VP residence completed, Nigeria officially have two VP residences in Abuja, both consuming a total of N23.5 billion naira in a single year!

Now let’s review details of the official residence of the United States VP…

The VP of the US lives in the White Nineteenth-Century House, located at Number One Observatory Circle in Northwestern Washington, D.C.

Interestingly, the house was built in 1893 and has been maintained since then. It was converted as the VP residence in 1974. The US Congress agreed to refurbish the house at that time.

The refurbishment was completed in 1977, and so, Walter Mondale who was the VP under the then President, President Jimmy Carter, became the first vice president to live there.

The residence, since then, was used by every US Vice President, including George Bush, Dane Quayle, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, Mike Pence, and now Kamala Harris.

Very instructive to note that the US government doesn’t allocate money for the renovation of the VP house. The VP is at liberty to renovate or decorate their residence to their taste. But it must come from their private pockets or through public donations.

In fact, in 1991, the govt at the time established the Vice President’s Residence Foundation. It’s for the purpose of receiving donations from the public to renovate the VP’s building.

For instance, when they came to power in January 2021, Joe Biden’s VP, Kamala Harris quietly moved into the residence after Pence packed out. She only added some beauty to the building in November, 2021, after about 10 months.

US VP, Kamala Harris and Family

What did she even add? Just a white Mezuzah (which contains a small scroll of certain Hebrew text from the Torah) on the right side of the entrance door. This is simply to keep memories because Doug Emhoff who’s the husband to VP Kamala Harris, is Jewish.

US VP, Kamala Harris and Husband

Now, let’s compare facts from both residences…

One, while Nigeria under Tinubu’s govt, with a collapsing economy spent N23.5 billion to reconstruct and renovate two separate VP residences in a single year, the US spent zero on theirs in 2021 when Joe Biden came to power.

Two, Nigeria suffers for the insane and insensitive luxury taste of Tinubu’s govt. Because funding for the renovation of both residences came directly from the govt purse. This is not the case in the US. The VP either pays for the renovation of their residence or source for the money through donations.

Three, it’s an unexplainably w!cked act that Tinubu’s govt spent N2.5 billion to renovate the Aguda house which is sufficient for the VP to live in, and went on to splash N21 billion on a new, useless VP residence – making the number of VP residences two. While, in the US, there exists just one VP residence.

Four, Tinubu’s govt wastefulness is insulting to the country. Funding the two VP residences came at a time when Nigeria’s economy is at its worst state, with biting hunger and hardship across the country. Meanwhile, the US, which boasts as the world’s strongest economy doesn’t have provision for such largesse and blind waste.

Five, the U.S. VP residence has lasted for more than 130 years (since 1893) while Nigeria’s VP residence (the Aguda house) has lasted merely 40 years (since 1981).

Six, millions of Naira was spent for the official opening ceremony of the newly-completed Shettima’s home. While the exact figure wasn’t made public, it’s certainly no less of an outrageous figure.

In conclusion, it’s as though Nigeria is a captured entity and Nigerians have been enslaved by Tinubu’s callous and kleptomaniac govt. The mindless splash of scarce resources on both VP’s residences prove this.

Obiasogu David

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