By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
The federal government has allocated the sum of N2. 3 billion in the 2022 budget, currently before the National Assembly, for the entitlements of former Presidents and military Heads of State.
The beneficiaries include: Gens. Yakubu Gowon Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar, Chiefs Ernest Shonekan, and Olusegun Obasanjo, as well as, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
The amount, according to the detailed budget would be used to pay their allowances, within the next Fiscal Year (FY) from a total of N2. 120 trillion Service Wide Vote to be administered by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
A provision of N4.502 billion was equally made for retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries; while N 1 billion was provisioned for the severance benefits to retired Heads of government agencies and parastatals.
The sum of N50 billion was provided in the proposed budget for health workers’ hazard allowance, which is expected to address the lingering issue of hazard allowance over which medical doctors and other health workers had downed tools, in the past.
Group Life Assurance for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies was allocated the sum of N24. 733 billion (including Department of State Service/insurance of sensitive assets / corps members , as well as, administration and monitoring , with a separate N 125 billion set aside for the Redemption Fund.
Social benefits such as gratuity, pension and death benefits received N436. 935 billion.
Other major provisions in the Service Wide Vote included the N 350 billion for police operations , as well as Operation Lafiya Dole and other operations of the military that received N115 billion.
The Presidential Amnesty Programme was provided N65 billion , expected to be utilized in the re-integration of transformed ex-militants, in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
The sum of N 49. 367 billion was set aside for GAVI/Immunization; N30 billion provided for contributions to international organizations; N 40 billion for electricity bills of MDAs; N30 billion for contingency; and N10 billion for margin of increased costs.