It has been revealed the President Bola Tinubu spent a staggering $507,384 on hotel accommodation just few days at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
This is according to a report by FIJ. When converted to Naira, $507,384 is equivalent to N390,690,753 at the current exchange rate.
This was revealed in a memo dated September 11, 2023, and obtained by FIJ.
$422,820 (N325.5 million) out of the total amount covered the cost of rooms booked for Tinubu and his close aides at the St. Regis Hotel in New York from September 16 to 23.
The memo also shows that the remaining $84,564 (65.1 million in Naira), which is 20 percent of the hotel reservation cost, was for incidentals.
While the memo does not include a breakdown of the incidentals, hotel incidental charges entail the cost of services and amenities that are not included in the room rates.
A search through the website of St. Regis Hotel shows that the cost of a room, including taxes and fees, could be as high as $17,273 per night and as low as $915 per night.
The memo, signed by Adebiyi O. Olufunso, the permanent secretary of the state house, and addressed to the president, was titled ‘Re: Mr. President’s Participation at the 7th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), New York from 17th-23rd September 2023’.
FIJ understands that the memo’s main purpose was to request the president’s approval. Written on the memo were the words “Payment authorised as requested”, which means that the president indeed approved the payment.
A part of the document reads, “Federal Ministry of Finance and Office of the Accountant General of the Federation has been informed and are on standby to pay as soon as Mr. President approves.”
The memo also appealed to the president to authorise the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning to make necessary arrangements for the release of the funds from the 15% Wheat Grain Levy Pool Account.
FIJ found that the federal government introduced a 15 percent levy on wheat grain imports in 2012. The levy was aimed at promoting Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in wheat production and reduce the food import bill