Tinubu may pay over N30 million monthly to offset ministers’ salaries

FINDINGS by The ICIR, from available data, have shown that it might cost taxpayers over N29.91 million monthly to pay the basic salaries of the 46 newly appointed ministers.

The appointment of ministerial portfolios is coming barely two weeks after President Bola Tinubu submitted 48 names as nominees to the Senate for screening. 

Based on the remuneration approved by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), each minster should earn N650,136.65 monthly, translating to N7.8 million annually. 

Going by this, if no review has been made, the Federal government would pay N358.9 million annually to offset the ministers’ remuneration. This amount, however,  excludes other allowances and benefits for each minister appointed.

According to the commission’s data, each minister is also entitled to other allowances like accommodations, furniture estacodes, medical, severance gratuity, leave and motor vehicle loans which are paid based on application.

Also, as reviewed by the former president, Muhammdu Buhari, a minister is entitled to receive a duty tour allowance (travelling allowance) based on grade level.

By this approval, each minister is entitled to N80,000 per diem (daily) on each official travel.

In 2021, the Federal Inland Revenue Service said that Nigeria now has 41 million taxpayers.

Arithmetically, this means it would cost each taxpayer approximately N9 annually to pay the salaries of 46 ministers.

With the recent appointments, if all ministers resume office by September, the federal government would pay N119.6 million between September and December 2023, costing each taxpayer N3. This is excludes allowances.

Before leaving officer, Buhari allocated N2.9 trillion as payment of salaries and wages in the 2023 fiscal budget; which covers the expenditure on government personnel including ministers. However, while the former president ran a ministerial cabinet of 43 people, there has been pressure mounted by groups on the president to reduce the cost of governance

Recently, the National Labour Congress, while protesting the removal of fuel subsidy, requested that the federal government cut down expenses on governance and increase the minimum wage.

The ICIR has also reported the controversies (here and here) around the increase of salaries for public servants to 114 per cent. 

Ngige’s revelation 

In another twist, the former Minister for Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, disclosed on Channels Televisions’ Politics Today interview in May that each minister earns N942,000 monthly after taxes have been removed.






     

     

    “My salary is N942,000 in a month with my personal assistance. This is the gross total after taxation. My feeding, my transport, the salary of one PA, gardener and cook are all consolidated, and after heavy taxation, they pay me N942,000,” he said.

    Based on this disclosure, The ICIR calculated that Tinubu might pay N43.3 million as basic salaries monthly, excluding other allowances and benefits for each minister appointed. This translates to N520.0 million annually. 

    Ngige also disclosed in the interview that each minister is only entitled to duty tour (travelling allowances) allowance which has been – at the time he spoke – recently reviewed. 

    However, a report, analysing the amount received by each minister under Buhari published that ministers are also entitled to estacode allowance, refundable vehicle loans, furniture allowance, severance packages, Utilities Allowance, Domestic Staff Allowance, Newspaper Allowance, Accommodation Allowance and Motor Vehicle Fueling Maintenance Allowance among others.

    Kehinde Ogunyale tells stories by using data to hold power into account. You can send him a mail at [email protected] or Twitter: Prof_KennyJames

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