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Nigeria to spend N2.53bn on 43 ministers

…Each minister to get N58.766m
…Earns N11.652m a year
…Severance pay, furniture allowance N12.158m

By Clifford Ndujihe &Victor Young

EXCEPT there is a salary cut or their number is reduced, the welfare of the 43 ministerial nominees, who will be sworn-in on Wednesday, will cost Nigeria’s tax payers at least N2.53 billion in the next four years.

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President Muhammadu Buhari

This means each minister will get at least N58.766 million in four years.

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The figure will be much higher, if estacode and allowances for foreign and local duty trips were added.

Ministers currently are entitled to estacode allowance of $900 per night and duty tour allowance of N35,000 per night. And this excludes a refundable vehicle loan of N8.106 million.

Each of the ministers is entitled to a furniture allowance of N6.079 million and severance package of N6.079 million, totalling N12.158 million. The furniture allowance will be paid shortly after their swearing in.

The figure is in tandem with what immediate past ministers earned going by their conditions of service as unveiled by former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, before they were sworn-in in November 2015.

According to the conditions of service, a minister will earn N2,026,400 as annual basic salary while a Minister of State will get N1.8 million.

Other highlights of the emoluments include: Estacode Allowance ($900 per night); Utilities Allowance (Telephone/Electricity/ Water) –30 per cent of Annual Basic Salary (N607,920); Domestic Staff Allowance, 75 per cent of Annual Basic Salary, N1,519,800; Newspaper Allowance, 15 per cent of Annual Basic Salary, N303,960; Duty Tour Allowance, N35,000 per night; Furniture Allowance, 300 per cent of basic salary, N6,079,200; Severance Allowance, 300 per cent of annual basic salary, N6,079,200;

Others are Accommodation Allowance, 200 per cent of annual basic salary, N4,052,800; Motor Vehicle Fuelling Maintenance Allowance, 75 per cent of Annual Basic Salary, N1,519,800; Leave Allowance, 10 per cent of basic salary, N202,640; Personal Assistant Allowance, 25 per cent of Basic Salary, N506,600; Entertainment Allowance, N607,920; Monitoring Allowance, N303,960; and Motor Vehicle Loan, N8,105,600.

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The severance package is payable after full tenure of office with government. The allowance will be pro-rated after a minimum of two years in office.

Each of the ministers is also entitled to N6,079,200 as furniture allowance, which is paid once in four years. If any of the ministers desires, he or she is also entitled to N8105,600 as motor vehicle allowance. However, the motor vehicle allowance is a loan repayable by the end of the tenure of the minister.

Labour reacts

Reacting, General Secretary of National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, Issa Aremu, fualted  the huge among the nation would be spending on its ministers.

He said: “What is good for the ministers and even the  leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, is even more desirable for working people. Worker need living wages too not just minimum wage.”

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