Buhari shocks ministers with austere package
â€¢Cabinet members grumble, say â€˜pittanceâ€™ canâ€™t
Barely three weeks in office, President
Muhammadu Buhari has shocked Ministers with
poor salaries and austere allowances.
He has also imposed dos and donâ€™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: â€œI 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
â€œThe appointment takes effect from 11th
November, 2015 under the following Terms and
Conditions of Service as contained in â€œCertain
Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders(Salaries
and Allowances, etc) (Amendment ) Act 2008.â€
â€œI 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
The SGFâ€™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)â€“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
The letter said: â€œAs 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.
â€œSeverance 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: â€œ200 % of Annual Basic Salary
(N4,052,800) will be paid to you to enable you to
acquire accommodation of your choice in line with
â€œFurniture 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.
â€œMotor 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
â€œAnnual 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).â€
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
A reliable source said: â€œMost 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.
â€œWe 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.
â€œSome 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?â€
As at press time, it was unclear if the ministers had
made representation to the president or not.
â€œCuriously, 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.â€
Another source added: â€œTo earn commensurate
salaries and allowances, the president can explore
foreign donorsâ€™ basket for payment of ministers. Or
else, it will be difficult to get the best from this
â€œAlternatively, there might be scientific corruption
in Buhariâ€™s cabinet. This is the type of corruption
we call â€˜chop and clean mouth.â€™
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