A report by SaharaReporters has shown that the chairmen of Nigeria’s 774 Local Government Areas have been living large on jumbo salaries and at least 17 allowances, despite the fragile economy of the country and the need to reduce governance expenditure.
According to the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation And Fiscal Commission, the council chairmen are also entitled to allowances for special assistants, personal assistants and domestic workers among others.
Checks by SaharaReporters showed that the local council chairmen get allowances for “motor and vehicles fuelling and maintenance; entertainment; newspapers and periodicals, domestic staff, personal assistant, constituency and utilities.”
Others are for accommodation, furniture, duty tour (per night), estacode (per night), severance gratuity, leave and medicals.
The RMAFC breakdown reads, “Motor Vehicle fuelling and maintenance. 75% N681,234; Special Assistant (to be decided); Personal Assistant; 25%, N227,078; Domestic Staff; 75%, N681,234; Entertainment; 45%; N408,740; Utilities; 30%; N272,493; Constituency; 25%; N227,078; Newspapers/Periodicals; 15%; N136,246.
“Accommodation; Furniture; 300%; N2,724,936; Duty Tour Allowance (per night), N20,000; Estacode (per night) $450; Medical (to be decided). Severance Gratuity; 200%; N2,724,936; Leave; 10%; N90,831:20.”
SaharaReporters learnt that the Local Government Chairmen receive a total of about N5,994,659, starting from as far back as 2010, as the RMAFC is currently in the process of reviewing the pay even higher.
This sum consists of annual basic salary of N 908,312; N1,362, 468 for furniture (once in four years); N90,831.20 as leave allowance and N3,633,248 as a vehicle loan.
They also receive severance gratuity of N2,724,936 at the end of a tenure.
There have been calls by several civil society organisations to review downwards the pay of political office holders in the country, so as to save the highly expensive cost of governance in the country.
One of them is the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), which some weeks ago asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to order the RMAFC and the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) to review downward the remuneration and allowances of political office holders.
The civil society particularly named President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the 36 governors and members of the National Assembly.
SERAP, in a suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/658/2021, had sought “an order of mandamus to direct and compel the RMAFC to send its downward review of the remuneration and allowances of these high-ranking public office holders and recommendations to the National Assembly for appropriate remedial and legislative action, as provided for by the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended).”