The Nigerian president stands as one of the highest-paid leaders compared to several other countries of the world. This has become increasingly worrisome in the light of the economic woes bedeviling the country. The political class takes home jumbo pays, which to the masses does not translate to how well they lead the country. Here’s a breakdown of all you should know about the Nigerian president’s salary and allowances (compared to other countries), including the judiciary and executive.
The Current Annual Salary of the Nigerian President is N14.4 Million
When the current president of Nigeria, Mohammadu Buhari, came into power, he effected a salary cut in his salary almost immediately. According to him, there was a need to cut the expenditure of the government. This could be a result of the dwindling of the oil revenue, which was affecting the country’s finance. Hence, he declared that his annual salary should be slashed by 50 percent to salvage the country’s treasury.
The 50 percent salary slash was seen as not only a good development but also a good decision on his part by the members of the public. This decision also affected the salary of the vice-president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. With the 50% affected, the Nigerian president’s annual salary and allowances totaled N14.4 million, which is conservatively about $34,000.
Breakdown of the President’s Monthly Allowances
- The president’s basic salary is N514,705
- Hardship allowance N1, 757,350
- Leave allowance N351,470
Asides from the basic salary and the aforementioned allowances, the federal government caters to the basic needs of the Nigerian President. These needs include –
- Special assistant
- Medical bill
- Utility bills
- Personal assistant
Also, in addition to all the allowances, the president is to receive 300 percent of his salary as gratuity when he successfully completes his office. He resides at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja without payment for accommodation. However, in recent times when the standard of living in the country seems to be dwindling daily, the president suggested slashing the salary of the civil servants as a means of balancing up. This suggestion was welcomed with a vehement ‘no’ by the member of the public, especially the members of the opposition party, People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
According to PDP, the salary of civil servants is meager and cannot meet their daily needs. Concerned citizens suggested a further reduction in the salary of the president and lawmakers. Most people believe that the lawmakers’ salaries from the National Assembly should be reduced by 70%. According to the public, their excess salary is part of what is driving the country into severe poverty.
Comparison of Nigerian President’s Salary with Those of Other Top African Countries
To a large extent, the Nigerian government caters to all the president’s needs, both financially and otherwise. That is why the Nigerian president stands out as one of the highest-paid leaders in Africa and the world at large, with an annual salary of $34,000.
Ghanian President Earns GH¢ 348 000 Annually (over $58,000)
Ghana is also another country known to treat its president nicely financially. It was reported that Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo earns a salary of Gh¢22,809, which is equivalent to $4,898. However, the president disclosed that he earns GH¢29,000 monthly. This amounts to GH¢348,000 per annum, which is no less than $58,000.
He is further entitled to some benefits, some of which extend beyond the end of his tenure. These benefits are as follows: salary of domestic staff, health insurance, security, armored cars, pension (when he round up his office as a president), and a state funeral (when he dies).
South African President Earns R3 Million Annually (more than $203,000)
The president of South Africa is also recognized as one of the best-paid world leaders compared to the Nigerian president’s salary, which is lower. His yearly salary is R3 million, which includes his allowances benefits. In US dollars, this is no less than $203,000. It should be noted that in 2020, the South African president, the deputy president, minister, and deputy minister all took a 33% pay cut to cushion the effect of coronavirus in the country.
Kenyan President Earns KSH20 Million Annually (more than $184,000)
Kenya’s president is also paid quite handsomely. His basic salary per month is KSH1,650,000. This accrues up to KSH20 million ($184,331.80) annually, without the addition of his allowances. It has been claimed that Kenya’s president and his vice are the highest earners in their country among the government workers. The president and his vice’s annual allowance is KSh14 million, which translates to $135,485.73.
Egyptian President Earns $72,000 Annually
In the north African region, some presidents also earn well when compared to Nigeria’s president salary. For instance, in Egypt, the current president’s salary is about $72,000 per annum. This represents a significant improvement from what the past president earned, which was about $63,000 per year.
Cameroon President Earns $610,000 Annually, the Highest in Africa
The current president of Cameroon, Paul Biya, who some people better describe as dictator/life president, is the highest-paid president in the whole of Africa. The leader, who came to power in 1982, currently earns nothing less than $50,833.33 per month, which sums up to $610,000 per annum. His salary is almost 230 times the average Cameroonian salary, and he comfortably earns more than many world leaders in developed countries.
Rwandan President Earns $85,000 Annually
The current Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, which many people have commended for the rapid growth and development Rwanda has witnessed under his watch, is also one of the highest-paid presidents in Africa. When compared to the Nigerian president’s salary, President Kagame earns more at $85,000, while President Buhari is paid about $34,000 annually.
Nigerian President’s Salary Compared to Salaries of Presidents of Developed Countries
At the world level, Nigeria is not lagging in terms of how it pays its officials. To better assert this claim, below are the salary of other world leaders from developed countries.
The US President Earns $400,000
The USA president, Joe Biden, receives a salary that amounts to $400,000 annually. He also receives the following allowances and benefits –
- Annual expense Allowance – $50, 000
- Nontaxable Travel Allowance – $100, 000
In addition, the president also receives perks like security allowances, health insurance, and entertainment allowances. These allowances still stand even after their term of office expires. Furthermore, they remain on the government payroll for life, receiving the president salary until they die. However, they are not entitled to a wardrobe allowance.
The UK Prime Minister Earns £161,401 (more than $224,000)
The U.K’s prime minister receives £161,401 annually as his salary. The breakdown of his salary is as follows –
- As a prime minister, he is entitled to £79,496 as his annual salary.
- He also receives £81,932 for his position as a Member of the Parliament.
Canadian Prime Minister Earns $357,800 Annually
Canadian Prime Minister stands out as one of the best paid prime ministers worldwide. His basic salary is $357,800 (USD) per year. The salary breakdown is as follows:
- Pay for the position of prime minister – $178,900
- Pay for being a Member of the Parliament – $178,900
Asides from these, he also received an annual allowance of $2000 as his car allowance. However, the bills of his domestic staff and other persons employed by the family are footed by him.
Australian Prime Minister Earns $549,250 Annually
The leader of the “continent down under,” who is addressed as the Prime Minister of Australia, earns $549,250 as his salary. This sum is arrived at by adding up the base salary for all members of parliament, which is about $211,250, and an additional 160 percent of this amount earned exclusively by the minister. Compared to the Nigerian president’s salary, the Australian Prime Minister earns 10 times more.
German Chancellor Earns €350,000 Annually ($33,675)
The German Chancellor, which leads one of the most developed and most powerful countries in the world, earns a salary of €28,500 monthly that totals €350,000 gross annual salary. The dollar equivalent of the chancellor’s annual income is about $33,675. Thus, compared to the Nigerian president’s salary of $34,000, the German Chancellor earns slightly lower.
Japanese Prime Minister Earns ¥40,490,000 ($377,180) Annually
In Asia, the Japanese prime minister is one of the best-paid, with a salary of about ¥40,490,000 ($377,180) annually. When compared to the Nigerian president’s salary, which is a “humble” $34,000, it is more by at least $343,180. Apparently, Japan is a developed country with one of the best economies in the world and functional leaders. At the same time, Nigeria is “honourably” classified as a developing country, even though certain indices better categorize the acclaimed African giant as an underdeveloped country.
The Chinese Prime Minister Earns ¥11,385 ($22,000) Yearly
Though not a developed country yet, China is still being classified as a developing country in the world, the largest of all, based on the World Bank and the United Nations criteria. China is becoming increasingly dominant in the global scheme of things, and the president’s salary has also drawn attention.
The Chinese president earns a salary of ¥11,385 or $22,000, which is far less than that of developed countries they are rubbing shoulders with and worst still that of undeveloped countries in Africa, which China gives aid. Be that as it may, there have been criticisms of this figure as it is believed that the Chinese president earns more than $22,000 yearly as president.
How well are Nigerian Politicians Paid?
The tiers of government in Nigeria pride themselves as one of the best in the world. This is because they pay their political office holders enough to attend to their daily needs and have some to invest in businesses.
The Salary of Nigeria Lawmakers
Among Nigerian politicians, the lawmakers are one of the highest-paid arms of the government, especially at the federal level. According to the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the body in charge of fixing the salaries and allowances of political office holders, a senator goes home with an annual salary of N12.7 million. That is not all; there is also the added hardship allowance of N1.2 million.
According to Professor Itse Sagay, the annual earnings of Nigerian senators is N3 billion. He stated this at a lecture he delivered at the Nigerian Society of International Law in 2017. He also broke down their earnings as follows –
- Basic salary N2,484,245.50
- Hardship allowance N1,242,122.70
- Constituency allowance N4,968,509
- Furniture Allowance N7,452,736.50
- Newspaper Allowance N1,242,122.70
- Ward rope Allowance N621,061.37
- Recess Allowance N248,424.55
- Accommodation Allocation N4,968,509
- Utilities N828,081.83
- Domestic staff N1,863,184.12
- Entertainment N828,081.83
- Personal assistant N621,061.57
- Vehicle maintenance Allowance N1,863,184.12
- Leave Allowance N248,425.55
- Severance gratuity N7,425,736.50
- Motor Vehicle Allowance N9,937,982.00
Some concerned citizens have called for a reduction in the lawmakers’ salaries and that of the executives. For them, the salary has become the biggest burden of the government. Also, due to excess money, these lawmakers engage in wasting the money. Some sources claim that the excess money is what foots the bills of the unnecessary spending that comes with campaigns when elections are near.
When the president slashed his annual salary, the parliamentarians were reported to have promised to consider following in his footsteps. The reverse seems to be the case, as no form of salary slash was recorded in their income as far back as 2015 when President Buhari decided for 2021. There was a report that the President had set up some committee to look into slashing the lawmakers’ salaries. However, this seems to be a mere rumor as no committee has been reported to have begun work on the aforementioned issue.
The Salary of the Judiciary
On the other hand, the salary of the judiciary arm of the government, though not a political office, also has been marked for slashing by the Nigerian populace. The Chief Justice of Nigeria’s Supreme Court is the head of the judiciary arm of government. Their annual salary is N3.36 million. They are also entitled to the following allowances;
- Vehicle maintenance
- Payment of Domestic staff
They receive 25% of their basic salary for their assistant and outfit allowance (N840,99.13). Like other arms of government, they are entitled to 59% of their annual basic salary as hardship allowances. Furthermore, they receive 10% of their annual basic salary for furniture allowance, 300% for annual leave, and 400% for their severance gratuity. In addition to all these, they receive N50,000 for their duty allowance and $2000 per night for local and foreign travel.