With barely three weeks in office, President Muhammadu Buhari has shocked the recently appointed Ministers with poor salaries and austere allowances. The Nation reports.
The Ministers were said to be disappointed by the perk of office by the President even as Buhari also imposed among others travel restrictions on them.
As regards travels, the only leverage the Ministers will enjoy is the privilege of flying in a Business Class.
This was contained in a letter given to the ministers during the week by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir David Lawal.
According to the letter, the SGF said, “I 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.
“The appointment takes effect from 11th November, 2015 under the following Terms and Conditions of Service as contained in “Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders(Salaries and Allowances, etc) (Amendment ) Act 2008.”
“I 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 appointment.”
The letter gave a breakdown of the perk of office the Ministers would enjoy while they last in the Federal Executive Council, FEC, as:
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)–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 Salary-N303,960).
Parts of the letter read, ”As 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.
”Severance 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. 200 % of Annual Basic Salary (N4,052,800) will be paid to you to enable you to acquire accommodation of your choice in line with monetization policy.
”Furniture 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. Motor 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 office running.
”Annual 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).”
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.