It is no longer news in Nigeria, that our President, Bola Tinubu has budgeted N5 Billion for a new Presidential yacht in 2024 budget submitted to the Senate for Approval.
The Nigerian social media space was thrown into a frenzy on Thursday when the supplementary budget document was released and citizens saw that N5 billion was earmarked for a presidential yacht.
“What does the president need a yacht for at a time when Nigerians are grappling with the ripple effects of his economic reforms?” This was the main question on the tongue of many Nigerians.
In this article, we talked about what is a Presidential Yacht, what use is a Presidential Yacht, and other countries in the world that have a Presidential Yacht.
What is a Presidential Yacht?
A presidential yacht is a vessel of a country’s navy that is specially used by the country’s president for recreation, diplomacy, or official business.
Some countries have vessels permanently designated as presidential yachts, while others use different navy ships for this purpose depending on the occasion.
The United States has a long history of presidential yachting dating back to the 19th century.
The first official presidential yacht was USS Despatch, which was used by several presidents from 1880 to 1891.
It was followed by USS Dolphin, USS Sylph, and USS Mayflower, which served as the “Floating White House”
Presidential yachts are not only symbols of power and prestige but also of history and heritage.
They offer residents a place to escape the pressures of office, to entertain guests and allies, and to make decisions that shape the course of world events
Several countries have vessels permanently designated as presidential yachts:
List of Countries with Presidential Yachts:
The President of Egypt utilizes the El Mahrousa, which ranks as the eighth-largest yacht.
The President of Finland possesses a smaller private yacht known as the Kultaranta VIII.
India’s presidential yacht is the INS Sumitra.
Italy’s presidential yacht is the Italian ship Argo (MEN209).
Historically, the Philippines has had several vessels designated as presidential yachts, including Casiana (1936-1941, later renamed Banahaw), Orchid (1946-1948), Dalisay (1948-1959, later renamed Apo, Pagasa, and Santa Maria), and the current RPS Lapu-Lapu (since 1959, with past names including RPS Roxas, RPS The President, RPS Pag-Asa, and BRP Ang Pangulo).
Russia has employed presidential yachts for its leaders, including Olympia (2002–2009, used by President Vladimir Putin), Sirius (2010–, initially used by President Dmitri Medvedev), and the most recent addition, Graceful (2018–).
The current Turkish presidential yacht is the Savarona.
Additionally, the Turkish Government has commissioned a new 50-meter yacht for the personal use of the president and visiting heads of state.
This new vessel is equipped with advanced features such as a ballistic hull, surface-to-air missiles, and high-tech equipment.
Historically, the United States utilized presidential yachts for its presidents, including USS Mayflower (1906–1929, decommissioned just before the Great Depression), USS Potomac (1936–1945), USS Williamsburg (1945–1953), and the most recent, USS Sequoia (1933–77).
The most renowned Yugoslavian presidential yacht was the Galeb, used by Marshal Josip Broz Tito.
Last Friday, Ali Ndume, the Senate’s Chief Whip, revealed that the contentious presidential yacht, whose budget has been reassigned to the student loan program, has been received but remains unpaid.
Given the presidency’s statement that the yacht is intended for naval use and not for President Bola Tinubu’s personal use, what will its ultimate fate be?
If this vessel is eventually acquired, what name will it be given?
Floating Aso Rock, Aso Yacht, or Renewed Hope Yacht?
Regardless of the outcome, bon voyage!