Buhari, Osinbajo Who Promised To Trim Cost Of Governance To Get Alongside Others N63bn Jumbo Severance

President Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy Yemi Osinbajo, who rode to power in 2015 promising to trim down the cost of governance, will alongside state governors and other political appointees leave office in 2023 costing taxpayers N63.45bn as severance packages, the Punch reported.

The figure also covers the severance gratuity for ministers, commissioners, National Assembly members, state assembly members and special advisers. It, however, does not include special assistants, the report said.

A breakdown of the insensitive package indicates that the Federal Government would pay out N3.39bn while the states will cough out N60.06bn.

The beneficiaries’ package was collated from a document obtained from the website of the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission.

The severance allowance is, however, separate from other financial packages which may be in place as retirement benefits or pensions for some of the political office holders.

As approved by RMAFAC, political office holders were entitled to 300 per cent of their annual salary as a severance package.

In addition, some ex-governors will be paid 100 per cent of their annual basic salary for life after leaving office.

They would also get new cars every three years, a house in any part of the country, free medical care, as well as furniture allowance and car maintenance allowance.

They are also entitled to cooks, stewards, gardeners, and other domestic staff, among other perks, including policemen and Department of State Services operatives for life.

 The Punch recently reported that a total of N13.81bn was proposed for the payment of pensions to former Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Heads of State, Chiefs of General Staff, retired heads of service, permanent secretaries, as well as retired heads of government agencies and parastatals in the 2023 fiscal year.

The beneficiaries include former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, as well as Vice-Presidents Atiku Abubakar and Namadi Sambo, among others.

Also expected to benefit from the windfall are ex-military Heads of State, General Yakubu Gowon and General Abdusalami Abubakar, as well as a former dictator and self-styled military President, General Ibrahim Babangida and a former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (retd.).

As stipulated by RMAFAC, the President will get a severance pay of N10.54m, which is 300 per cent of his annual basic salary, while Vice-President Osinbajo will receive N9.09m.

The eight special advisers in the Presidency are expected to get N5.83m each, totalling N46.64m.

There are 44 ministers under Buhari, consisting of 27 federal ministers and 17 ministers of state.

While each minister is entitled to N6.08m, each minister of state is entitled to N5.87m. In total, they would get N258.08m, with ministers getting N164.16m and ministers of states receiving N93.92m.

Each special adviser under the minister is entitled to a severance fee of N5.83m. With each minister having one special adviser, the total sum of N256.52m will be spent as their severance package.

Checks by the newspaper indicate that the National Assembly members would receive about N2.81bn, with senators getting N664.94m while House of Representatives members would be paid N2.15bn.

The President of the Senate will receive N7.45m cheque, the deputy senate president, N6.93m and the other 107 senators, N6.08m each.

The Speaker, House of Representatives is expected to receive N7.43m, the deputy speaker, N6.86m and the 358 members, N5.96m each.

Governorship elections will hold in about 28 states, which means 28 governors and deputy governors will get severance pay, alongside the commissioners and special advisers under them.

Some of the governors who would receive severance allowance include Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Simon Lalong (Plateau), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Muhammad Abubakar (Jigawa), Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Dave Umahi (Ebonyi.)

Others include Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Aminu Masari (Katsina), Umar Ganduje (Kano), Ben Ayade (Cross-River), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa-Ibom), Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi) and Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna).

Each governor is entitled to a severance pay of N6.67m while the deputy governor gets N6.34m. In total, state governors get N186.76m while their deputies would each be paid N177.52m.

With each commissioner entitled to N4.01m, a total of 570 state commissioners will get N2.29bn.

Special advisers at the state level are by law entitled to N3.75m each. The 28 states had about 14,633 special advisers in total, which would cost the public treasury N54.88bn.

At the state assemblies, the speaker gets N3.28m, the deputy gets N2.89m and other members, N2.67m. In all, state assemblies will get a total of N2.53bn.

Source: The Punch

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