N4,000 inadequate for each delegate’s lunch – Secretariat
Deputy Chairman of the National Conference Professor Bolaji Akinyemi yesterday said N4000 spent on lunch for each delegate daily is inadequate, stressing that the secretariat is seeking more funds for lunch.
Daily Trust calculations show that at N4000 per lunch, government spends N1, 968, 000 daily on lunch for the 492 delegates attending the National Conference.
This calculation did not include additional food that may be required for principal officers of the secretariat and supporting staff.
Akinyemi, who was reacting to a point of order raised by Chief Ayo Adebanjo over a publication by a newspaper which claims that lunch costs N60, 000 daily per delegate, said the true amount was little above N4000.
He said “we have been battling to get an increase on that amount because frankly, I think four thousand and something a plate is inadequate but a budget was prepared for us, we didn’t prepare the budget and that was the figure that was written in the budget that we are now trying to accommodate.
“In fact this is part of the problem that Transcorp Hilton is now saying; it is four thousand and something that you are paying us we are going to make the portion small.”
He added that the secretariat had been “fighting to try and get an increase, to see how we can get an increase. We have not been successful but N60, 000 absolutely untrue. Please gentlemen of the press, help us. Help us, it is four thousand and something per plate and I wonder where in Abuja you are going to get lunch for four thousand and something Naira; it is just impossible.”
However, a delegate from the Southeast Chris Eluemunoh disagreed with Akinyemi, saying the amount was more than enough, calling for the company that currently serves delegates to be replaced.
“Mr. Chairman, N4000 is more than enough for food but we are not having it here. Let us change to a better place. They (Transcorp) are not the best restaurants in Abuja here; there are private restaurants that can give us good food for N2000,” the delegate said.