Buhari shocks ministers with austere package

By 09:58 Sat, 28 Nov 2015 Comments



Buhari

•Cabinet members grumble, say ‘pittance’ can’t

pick bills

Barely three weeks in office, President

Muhammadu Buhari has shocked Ministers with

poor salaries and austere allowances.

He has also imposed dos and don’ts on the

ministers including travel restrictions.

Most Ministers were said to be embarrassed by the

perks of office accruable to them in office.

The only leverage the Ministers will enjoy is the

privilege of flying in a Business Class on trips.

These conditions of service for Ministers were

contained in a letter given to them during the week

by the Secretary to the Government of the

Federation, Engr. Babachir David Lawal.

The letter said: “I am pleased to inform you that the

President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,

Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has appointed you

as a Minister in the Government of the Federal

Republic of Nigeria

“The appointment takes effect from 11th

November, 2015 under the following Terms and

Conditions of Service as contained in “Certain

Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders(Salaries

and Allowances, etc) (Amendment ) Act 2008.”

“I am to add that your tenure terminates at the end

of this Administration unless otherwise decided by

Mr. President. Please accept my heartiest

congratulations and best wishes on your

appointment.”

The SGF’s letter gave the details of the perks which

the ministers will enjoy in office as long as they last

in the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

While the substantive minister will earn N2, 026,

400 Annual Basic Salary($8,514.285), Minister of

State is to get N1.8million($7,563.025) per annum.

Other highlights of the conditions include:

Estacode Allowance($900 per diem); Duty Tour

Allowance(N35,000); Utilities Allowance(Telephone/

Electricity/ Water)–30% of Annual Basic Salary

(N607,920); Domestic Staff Allowance(75% -

((N1,519,800) of Annual Basic Salary; Medical

Facilities (in accordance with NHIS Policy); Special

Assistant (To be provided in kind); Security (To be

provided in kind); Air Travel (By Business Class);

Newspaper Allowance (15% of Annual Basic

Salary-N303,960).

The letter said: “As a Political Office Holder, you

must obtain permission from Mr. President before

you travel out of Abuja. If the trip is official,

Ministers are entitled to a Duty Tour Allowance of

N35,000 per diem. However, all private journeys

will attract no Allowance.

“Severance Allowance of 300 %of Annual Basic

Salary payable after full tenure of office with

government. The allowance will be pro-rated after

a minimum of two years tenure.

It added: “200 % of Annual Basic Salary

(N4,052,800) will be paid to you to enable you to

acquire accommodation of your choice in line with

monetization policy.

“Furniture Allowance. 300 %(N6,079,200) of Annual

Basic Salary will be paid once in every four years.

The allowance will be paid annually at the rate of

75% (N1,519,800) of Annual Basic salary.

“Motor Vehicle Fuelling Maintenance Allowance.

75% of Annual Basic Salary (N1,519,800) for the

maintenance of your vehicle(s) as Government no

longer provides chauffeur driven vehicles to

Political Office Holders/Public Officers for house to

office running.

“Annual Leave (30 calendar days for each leave

year or calculated on pro-rata basis, with 10% of

Annual Basic Salary(N202,640) as leave grant);

Personal Assistant Allowance (25% of Annual Basic

salary to enable you to employ a Personal Assistant

of your choice).”

Investigation however revealed that some of the

ministers were uncomfortable with the salary and

allowance package because it might not be able to

pick their bills.

The package has caused rumbles in the cabinet

because while Nigerian ministers earn $8, 514.28

Per Annum (N2,026,400), their counterparts in

Ghana are on $50,000 (N11,900,000) and those in

South Africa (the highest paying in the continent)

were said to be taking home about $302,521 per

annum.

A reliable source said: “Most ministers have been

sad since they received their letters of appointment

because the salary and allowance package was a

far cry from where they were coming from. We

hope that ministers will eventually not steal if they

have to serve this nation on hungry stomach.

“We have ministers in this government who left

high-net worth job of $10,000 to $20,000 per

month, how will they settle their bills? Some

ministers have headed corporate. You can imagine

a minister managing about $3billion portfolio now

getting $8,521 per Annum.

“Some ministers have children in Ivy League

universities where they are paying as much as

$40,000 to $60,000 per annum. How will they be

able to cope to meet up with their responsibilities?”

As at press time, it was unclear if the ministers had

made representation to the president or not.

“Curiously, we have some Executive Secretaries,

Directors-General and Group Managing Directors

of parastatals like NNPC, PPMC, NCC, NDIC, PEF,

PPPRA, DPR, NERC, NIGCOMSAT, and others who

will be earning more than their ministers. I think

the system is distorted somehow.”

Another source added: “To earn commensurate

salaries and allowances, the president can explore

foreign donors’ basket for payment of ministers. Or

else, it will be difficult to get the best from this

team.

“Alternatively, there might be scientific corruption

in Buhari’s cabinet. This is the type of corruption

we call ‘chop and clean mouth.’


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