Concerns Raised Over the Financial Burden on the Country’s Economy
As the tenure of President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, state governors, and other political appointees comes to an end, findings reveal that the final pay in office for these officials may cost Nigeria approximately N64.72 billion. The estimates include the salaries, allowances, and severance gratuity for ministers, commissioners, National Assembly members, special advisers, and other high-ranking political figures.
A detailed analysis of the allocations by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMAFAC) indicates that the severance packages for these outgoing officials will vary based on their positions and entitlements. President Buhari is expected to receive N1.71 million as basic salary and a few allowances, along with N10.54 million as severance gratuity. Vice President Osinbajo, on the other hand, will be entitled to N1.01 million plus N9.09 million as severance pay.
The article further highlights that the eight special advisers in the Presidency will receive N590,957 each as their final pay, totaling N51.37 million. Meanwhile, the 44 ministers under President Buhari will receive a combined sum of N292.21 million, with each minister entitled to N6.73 million, and ministers of state entitled to N6.5 million. Additionally, each minister’s special adviser will receive a final pay of N6.42 million, amounting to N282.48 million in total.
The report reveals that a total of 327 National Assembly members, comprising 76 Senators and 251 members of the House of Representatives, will not be returning to office. The estimated cost for their final pay is approximately N2.24 billion, with Senators receiving N7.14 million each and House of Representatives members receiving N6.75 million each.
Furthermore, as many as 18 state governors, who have completed two terms of eight years in office, will also receive significant severance packages. Each governor is entitled to a final pay of N7.32 million, while their deputies will receive N6.96 million. The total amount allocated for state governors and their deputies amounts to N131.76 million and N125.28 million, respectively.
Additionally, the report highlights the financial burden posed by the retirement benefits of political appointees, including state commissioners and special advisers. State commissioners, numbering 356 in total, will receive N4.42 million each, resulting in a total of N1.57 billion. Meanwhile, the 18 states will incur a substantial cost of over N60 billion to compensate approximately 14,529 special advisers at the state level.
The article underscores the concerns raised by experts regarding the financial implications of these severance packages on Nigeria’s economy. The rising debt levels and unpaid salaries in many states are in stark contrast to the generous pension benefits provided to outgoing political officials. Critics argue that such spending prioritizes politicians over the developmental needs of the country, potentially hampering infrastructural progress and exacerbating financial challenges.
These figures reveal the substantial financial burden faced by Nigeria as it navigates the transition of power and highlights the need for a more prudent approach to the remuneration of outgoing political officials. As the nation moves forward, addressing these concerns and redirecting resources towards critical developmental initiatives will be vital for the country’s long-term prosperity.
Source: The Punch
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