In the midst of heated debates surrounding the proposed N5bn presidential yacht in the 2023 supplementary budget, the Nigerian Navy has asserted that the controversial vessel has already been delivered. Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, the Director of Information, Nigerian Navy, clarified that the yacht, intended for training purposes, arrived in the country in June 2023. However, uncertainties loom over its usage as the National Assembly expresses reluctance to approve the payment.
Senate Chief Whip Ali Ndume disclosed that the yacht deal had been agreed upon, signed, and delivered, though payment was pending. He explained that the Senate questioned the budgeted amount, citing fluctuations in the dollar exchange rate. The N5bn earmarked for the yacht, originally based on an exchange rate of N435, faces challenges due to the current rate exceeding N800 per dollar.
While the yacht has sparked widespread criticism, Senate Spokesperson Yemi Adaramodu, clarified that both chambers agreed to reallocate the N5.095 billion designated for the presidential yacht to the student loan. The National Assembly’s approval of the supplementary budget, with the Senate silent on the yacht’s allocation and the House of Representatives redirecting it, adds a layer of complexity to the controversy.
The revelation that the yacht has been delivered, coupled with legislative opposition, introduces a new chapter to the unfolding saga. As the country grapples with economic challenges, the fate of the payment and the vessel’s utilization remain uncertain in the coming days and months.