Unbelievable: Ex Nigerian Presidents Gets Pay Raise From N250m To N2bn Annually

Date: 05-01-2010 11:56 pm (11 years ago) | Author: RoboC
- at 5-01-2010 11:56 PM (11 years ago)
(m)
Happy days continue for former presidents
By Festus Owete
January 4, 2010




Nigeria's former presidents and heads of state who are still alive should get an even better deal from the federal government this year following plans by the National Assembly to review their monthly welfare package upwards.

The legislature is planning to increase the former leaders' package from N250 million proposed in the 2010 budget to about N2 billion.

The chairman of the House of Representatives committee on appropriation, Ayo Adeseun, disclosed this in an exclusive interview with NEXT.

The money is meant to take care of the former leaders' pension, medicare, yearly vacation abroad, offices and general maintenance. This is besides the N500,000 each of the former leaders is reportedly paid whenever they attend the Council of State meeting, which is held periodically.

Well deserved?

Only seven out of the 12 presidents and heads of states who have ruled the country are still alive. They are Yakubu Gowon (1966-1975), Olusegun Obasanjo (1975-1979 and 1999-2007), Shehu Shagari (1979-1983), Muhammadu Buhari (1983-1985), and Ibrahim Babangida (1985-1993). The others are Ernest Shonekan (Aug 1993-November 17, 1993), and Abdulsalam Abubakar (1998-1999) .

Those who have passed on are Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (prime minister), Aguiyi-Ironsi, amilitary general (Jan 1966-July 1966), Nnamdi Azikiwe (ceremonial president), Murtala Muhammed and Sani Abacha, both of who were military rulers.

Mr. Adeseun, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State said the former leaders deserved better treatment because of the services they rendered to the country, adding that they will convince the executive arm during the budget defence sessions on the planned increase. The lawmaker stated that the N250 million in the 2010 budget is inadequate for the welfare of the leaders, due to the rising cost of living and other issues.

He also said that the vehicles for the former leaders are due for replacement. "Yes, I am aware of the allocation, but we think it is inadequate," he said. "We think we should review the allocation to about N2 billion, if it is the one you are talking about. This money is meant to take care of their accommodation, vehicles, medical expenses and other allowances. These are people who have served this nation and they should be properly taken care of."

Asked how the lawmakers would convince the executive on the matter, the lawmaker said "it is not for them to convince us, we will convince them. They are still coming to defend the budget and so during our interaction we will talk about it."

The welfare train

Allocations for the former leaders' welfare began in 2005, when a total of N140 million was set aside for them in that year's budget. Subsequently, the following allocations were made - N105 million (2006); N24 million (2008) and N250 million (2009). However, no allocation was made in the 2007 budget. It may have been integrated into another item under the office of the SGF.

Until 2008 when the allocation was brought under the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), it was treated under the Presidency or State House.

The emolument is different from that of the sitting president, who takes home N3.5 million annually. The president also earns various forms of allowances.

There have been many contentious issues over the welfare package and allowances of the former presidents and heads of state. For instance, several human rights activists have argued that former military leaders should not be entitled to the package because they rebelled against the Nigerian state by seizing power in military coup d'etat.

There have also been allegations that the emoluments of the former leaders is politicised by sitting governments. For instance, in November 2008, the federal government allegedly withdrew the vehicles attached to Mr. Buhari because of his role in the planned formation of a mega party by opposition figures in the country to challenge the ruling PDP. Mr. Buhari was the presidential candidate of the opposition All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in 2003 and 2007 elections.

But the Office of the SGF refuted the claim. According to Salisu Dambatta, a deputy director (information) in the office of the SGF, in a statement, "It is normal to allocate vehicles to all former presidents and replace such vehicles when the need arises. In line with that practice, General Buhari's vehicle was replaced in 2008 with a new one."

On the regularity of the payments, Mr. Dambatta said "Some of the packages are paid as and when due, while some are paid on a quarterly basis. All benefits former heads of state are treated equally. For the avoidance of doubt, government has never stopped General Buhari's pension."

A spokesperson of The Buhari Organisation (TBO), Osita Okechukwu, however told NEXT last Thursday that the Peugeot car recovered from the former head of state is yet to be returned to him.

Mr. Okechukwu, who is also the spokesperson of the opposition Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), revealed that it was the Sani Abacha administration that gave Mr. Buhari the vehicle, noting that "even Obasanjo did not give him anything."

That N500, 000 allowance

Aside from the welfare package, each of the former leaders who are automatic members of the Council of State collects N500,000 whenever they attend the meeting.

This is included in the "Certain Political and Judicial Officer Holders (Salaries and Allowances, etc) Act" that was prepared by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).

The Council of State is an advisory body which meets six times a year to deliberate and take decision on crucial issues affecting the country.

Membership of the council, according to Section 153 (1)(b), paragraph 5 includes the president, who shall be chairman; the vice president, who shall be the deputy chairman and all former presidents of the federation and former heads of government.

It also includes all former chief justices of Nigeria, the president of the senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the 36 state governors and the Attorney General of the Federation.

http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/News/Metro/Politics/5505628-146/story.csp

Posted: at 5-01-2010 11:56 PM (11 years ago) | Upcoming
- odiono at 6-01-2010 12:38 AM (11 years ago)
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CONSIDERING THE CURRENT STATE OF THE NATION, IS THIS THE PRESSING ISSUE ON THE NIGERIA POLITICAL SCENE? AN AMOUNT THAT CAN PROVIDE JOB OPPORTUNITY FOR A FULL SET OF GRADUATES IN NIGERIA ACADEMIC SESSION BEING GIVEN TO PERSONS WHO SHOULD BE SORRY FOR THE STATE THEY HAVE LED THE NATION INTO! IS THIS WHAT AN ELDER STATE MAN MEAN IN WESTERN SOCIETIES? PLEASE TELL THEM TO READ THE RECORDS OF PEOPLE LIKE ABRAHAM LINCOLN, GEORGE WASHINTON, NELSON MANDELA, ETC
Posted: at 6-01-2010 12:38 AM (11 years ago) | Upcoming
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- powerhorse at 7-01-2010 01:45 AM (11 years ago)
(m)
dividends of serving ones country
Posted: at 7-01-2010 01:45 AM (11 years ago) | Newbie
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- Skipo4u at 7-01-2010 05:25 AM (11 years ago)
(m)
we need divine intervention in Nigeria..........is that the pressing issue? Moreover what did they meaninful thing did they contribute to the nation as a whole? when the masses are suffering from series of issues ranging from inadequate power supply, bad infrastructure just to mention..................NA WA FOR NAIJA
Posted: at 7-01-2010 05:25 AM (11 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- shine1177 at 8-01-2010 11:29 AM (11 years ago)
(m)
 i will get there!

Posted: at 8-01-2010 11:29 AM (11 years ago) | Upcoming
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- Ak_something at 3-11-2011 08:18 PM (10 years ago)
(m)
All they know is to go around the same circle of crazyness, they should try something new...I mean some neighbouring countries are going so far from us, and they are there trying to enrich their pocket the more.

But I want to know the crazy person that came up with this idea in the first place when Education and Electricity remains our major problem as a country.
Posted: at 3-11-2011 08:18 PM (10 years ago) | Upcoming
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- babyleslie at 3-11-2011 11:11 PM (10 years ago)
(f)
 Shocked Shocked
Posted: at 3-11-2011 11:11 PM (10 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- mallorca at 3-11-2011 11:34 PM (10 years ago)
(m)
failed nation

Posted: at 3-11-2011 11:34 PM (10 years ago) | Addicted Hero
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- duaminister at 4-11-2011 01:01 AM (10 years ago)
(m)
 Nigerian rulers and the circle of the same people are busy enriching themselves while many other countries, leaders like Asia RSA USA,EU Ghana etc are busy finding answers to their problems n are progressing. nigeria cannot boast of good roads , electricity,security and good n qualitative education,we are saying may God help us how? when He had already giving us everything we need we need a revoluction this time  especially through the media you and i evbody must join to fight 4 our right none of them come to serve the nation but to enrich their pocket who have billions upon billions of hard currency in differect foregn accounts thats why they can do anything either by hook or by croock to get there nigeria is 51 what have we achieve only corruption, exploitation and bad news we hear evday only few local leaders i call dem leaders cos they have the people of nigeria in the heart as their priority such as the man of the century B.T FASHIOLA, l hail u God is seeing ur good intentions,we look onto thee as the mesaiah nigeria president to come PROFF AMB ALI of the blessed memory etc of whose good work we feel and see every day. In advance world even in some 3rd world countries life is first the big gap b/w the rich and the poor are not so pronounce in nigeria 4eg when u go to the hospital if u don,t have money u die the rich nigeria natural resource endow by  baba God met 4 everyone  is from time to time at the hands of the croocks and the highjackers
Posted: at 4-11-2011 01:01 AM (10 years ago) | Upcoming
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