Our Reporter, Abuja with Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
A leaked document from the State House Abuja, Nigeria’s seat of power, has revealed that despite Nigeria’s wobbling economy, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, spent a whopping $422,820.00 on hotel accommodation, and another $84,564.00 on incidentals during his one-week visit to the United States of America for the just-concluded United Nations General Assembly meeting.
The leaked document from a Whistle blower, @PIDOMNIGERIA, obtained by Ikengaonline was signed by the Permanent Secretary, State House, Mr Adebiyi Olufunso, an Engineer.
A careful study of the document revealed that the request for the President’s approval for the payment of the money was made on September 11, 2023, while the President gave authorisation for the payment on September 12, 24 hours later.
The document further revealed that the largesse was to be withdrawn from the 15% Wheat Grain Levy Pool Account.
Intriguingly, the document was silent on the number of Aides, hotel rooms covered by the bill and the grade of room because their prices vary.
When contacted on why the memo did not disclose the unit cost of a hotel room, the grade of the rooms and the number of presidential aides covered by the payment, a retired Director of the Federal Civil Service who spoke on condition of anonymity told Ikengaonline that the problem was not with Mr. President but the civil servants who obviously wanted to be mischievous with the memo.
“That is not the official standard in the service but there is really nothing new because this kind of thing has been going on over the years. The number of aides and the unit cost of the hotel accommodation per room really ought to have been disclosed in the memo to arrive at the total amount.
“The President may not even know anything about this because he approves a lot of memos everyday. But the civil servants just wanted to be mischievous for their own selfish interests.
“In the end the auditors would pick it up but they would not dare to raise any query on a memo already approved by the President for fear of victimisation. There is so much corruption in the civil service. And I can assure you that nothing will happen. The government won’t even respond to the controversy the leak had generated. They will simply allow the noise to die down and life continues,” he said.
From a visit to the official website of the hotel in question, the St. Regis Hotel New York, on Monaday, October 16, it could be gleaned that the most expensive room, Luxury Suite Campaign, Astor – Butler Service, 1 Bedroom Suite, 1 King costs 2,746 dollars. While the lowest rate Superior – Butler Service, Guest room, 1 King, goes for 1,054 dollars (although the prices change with time).
Bellow is full text of the document: