Kingibe, Ministers to earn more than Yar'Adua, VP

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Kingibe, Ministers to earn more than Yar’Adua, VP

19/8/2008

From Yusuf Alli,

Managing Editor, Northern Operation
 Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and ministers are to earn more than the President and his deputy, courtesy of the new package proposed by the Revenue Commission.

The new pay structure for public office holders and judicial officials may cost the nation about N1.126trillion yearly. But the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) is claiming that the package is affordable.

These highlights are contained in a document on the new remuneration package which was obtained yesterday by The Nation.

The breakdown of the annual package for the Executive (Federal Level) is as follows: President (N10,895,585 million); Vice-President (N9,397,874.75 million); SGF (a position occupied by Amb. Babagana Kingibe), Chief of Staff (a position that has just been scrapped byt he President), ministers, Head of Service and chairmen of boards (N15, 704,520 million); board members (N15, 171,245.00 million); Special Advisers (N16, 367, 281.25); and Auditor-General/Permanent Secretaries (N16,365, 412.60).

The monthly package basic translates to the following: President (N907,965.42); Vice-President (N783,156.23) SGF, Chief of Staff, ministers, Head of Service and chairmen of boards (N1,308,710 million); board members (N1,264,270.40 million); Special Advisers (N1,363,940.10 million) and Auditor-General/Permanent Secretaries (N1,363,784.30 million).

According to the document, about 17,474 political, judicial and public office holders would benefit from the new package.

The document reads: “Given the government budget profile, the proposed remuneration package is quite affordable and sustainable. “Evidently, approximately 17,500 officials, constituting 0.014 per cent(less than a quarter of a per cent) of Nigeria’s estimated 140million people are under consideration.

“It should also be noted that relative to the broader public servants engaged in the civil service and government parastatals, only a small number of officials, that is public and political office holders, will enjoy these emoluments.” But RMAFC claimed that about N1.126trilion might be required annually to foot the remuneration bill.

The commission says: “Currently, an estimated total of N751billion per annum is used to settle the emoluments, ranging from N9.9billon for federal judicial officers to N228billion for local government legislature. “Analysis of the current remuneration package by the three tiers of government shows that the annual associated costs per Federal, state and Local Governments are N115 billion; N240 billion and N350 billion respectively.

“Considering the proposed increase, the total associated costs will be N1.126trillion with N173 billion, N360billion and N592billion for Federal, State and Local Governments respectively. “These figures can be interposed with the epic progress registered in the economy in recent years, which has seen real GDP accelerate by 6 per cent in 2004 as well as fortuitous ascension in oil prices.

“When this is juxtaposed with the progressive augmentation of the country’s external reserves, now about US$42billion, there is an overriding sense that the remuneration package is not out of tune with the prevailing trends in the economic indicators and realities of the Nigerian situation.”

The commission also explained that the nation could afford the new package.

The document adds: “Moreover, another analysis of the affordability and sustainability was carried out by looking at the components of the total wage bill of the civil servants and the public, political and judicial office holders from the total personnel cost. This enabled us to see which of the components contributed a larger chunk to the total personnel cost.

“Besides, it also shed light on the appropriate percentage by which the proposed salary structure of the public, political and judicial officers will be reviewed upward.

“The estimated proportion of the political, public and judiciary remuneration package in 2004 was 31.26 per cent. It declined to 26.12 per cent in 2005 and further went down to 17.23 per cent in 2006.

“With the proposed increase, the proportion of the remuneration package for the political, public and judicial office holders will only be 26.63 per cent, which is far less than the 31.26 per cent in 2004.”

The commission listed economic indicators that propelled the increase in the remuneration package.

The indices are changes in economic realities; external reserves; inflation; correct placement of some categories of office holders that were wrongly placed in the old package; need to modify old salaries and allowances and introduce new allowances; need for a living wage to ensure honesty and dignity of the office holders and need to comply with the provisions of Sections 84(3) and 124(3) of the 1999 Constitution.

“In general, the economy has been highly inflationary since the last remuneration package came into effect.

“In 1999, the rate of inflation was only 6.6 per cent. It rose to 6.9per cent in 2000 but by 2001, it had reached an all-time high of 18.9 per cent. Up to the end of 2005, the rate of inflation (17.9 per cent) never went back to a single digit level.”

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