In these times of financial austerity and dwindling National income, it appears that the income of top government officials shows no signs of recession.
Reports via Economic Confidential reveal that President Muhammadu Buhari , Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, cabinet ministers and other aides pocketed the sum of N2.295 billion as official salaries and allowances in the last one year.
The Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), determines and fixes the remuneration packages of public and political office holders, while the National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission fixes the salaries and allowances of civil servants in Nigeria.
The pay packages by RMAFC for political office holders include: annual salaries, accommodation, vehicle maintenance/fuel, personal assistant, house maintenance, domestic staff, entertainment, utilities allowances, constituency allowance, hardship allowance, newspapers and monitoring allowances.
The report indicates that President Muhammadu Buhari has an annual basic salary of N3.51m, The Vice- President, Yemi Osinbajo N3.03m, while Ministers, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Head of Service and Chairmen of Boards of statutory agencies have N2.02m respectively.
Special advisers, Speech writers, Directors General, Accountant General of the Federation, Permanent Secretaries, CEO’s of agencies and INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners, each collect an annual basic salary of N1.9m. Officers under this category are called ‘members of constitutional bodies’
It shows that only the President and the Vice-President enjoy hardship allowances of 50 percent each of their annual basic salaries; 250 percent as Constituency Allowances and enjoy other perks to be provided (TBP) by government.
Benefits the duo are entitled to include, but not limited to: Accommodation, Furniture, Domestic Staff, Personal Assistants, Newspapers, Vehicles, Entertainment, Maintenance and Estacode.
Meanwhile, Ministers, Advisers, Permanent Secretaries and INEC Resident Commissioners are entitled to 200 percent of their annual basic salary for Accommodation; 300 percent for Furniture; 75 percent for Vehicle maintenance and fuel; 25 percent for Personal Assistant; 75 percent for domestic staff; 45 percent for entertainment; 30 percent for utilities; 15 percent for newspapers, and 20 percent for monitoring.
While the President and Vice President’s duty tours and estacode are provided by government at varying rates, other officials have fixed rates.
The estacode allowance per day for ministers, SGF, Head of Service and Chairmen of Board is $1000 per night on foreign trip; Member of constitutional bodies $900 per night; Special Advisers and Speech Writers $800 per night; Permanent Secretaries, Director-Generals/CEO of agencies and INEC Electoral Commissioner take $600 per night each on foreign trips.
Our calculations reveal that it will take the average Nigerian worker with a minimum wage of N18,000 four years to earn the utility allowance paid to Ministers.