Jalal Arabi, right and the DFA in State House Bashir Alkali at the budget presentation

The Permanent Secretary State House, Mr Jalal Arabi, has disclosed that some of the vehicles used for daily operations in the State House were purchased as far back as 1999.

He did not however give the number of such vehicles still in use.

Mr Arabi said there is an urgent need to replace those vehicles as they have become very difficult to maintain.

He spoke on Monday before the House Committee on Special Duties when he led the State House management team to the National Assembly for the defence of the 2020 budget proposals of the State House.

“With the release of funds in 2018, some of the vehicles, especially security vehicles were replaced, spares purchased but we are still nowhere near our optimal level since no vehicles were purchased this year (2019),” Mr Arabi said.

“The proposals are in line with our provisions in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) document, discussed and agreed with the Budget Office of the Federation, and is to be implemented over a three-year period.”

The sum of N6.569billion was proposed for capital expenditure, representing a 5.5 per cent reduction in the capital budget proposal for 2019 expenditure of the seat of government.

The Chairman, House Committee on Special Duties, Samaila Suleiman, while expressing satisfaction with the presentation, assured that the Committee would carefully consider the presentation.

Similarly, the Permanent Secretary defended the State House budget proposals before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter governmental Affairs.