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Buhari, Osinbajo, Governors Reap N651m Hardship Allowance As Economy Struggles

President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, state governors, and their deputies have reportedly enjoyed about N651.2m in hardship allowance over the past eight years, amidst high economic struggles faced by Nigerians.

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Summary:

  • President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, state governors, and their deputies have reportedly enjoyed about N651.2m in hardship allowance over the past eight years, amidst high economic struggles faced by Nigerians.
  • Labour unions and civil society organizations have criticized the regime for the increasing hardship experienced by ordinary citizens, with a reported 133 million Nigerians living in poverty.
  • While government officials assure that Nigerians will adjust to economic hardships and that the agitation for more wages is a global phenomenon, the ethical implications of the leaders’ hardship allowances in such a struggling economy are being questioned.

Amidst the lingering economic challenges, a recent report from Punch News has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, state governors, and their deputies may have enjoyed about N651.2m in hardship allowance over the last eight years.

“The type of allowance, which is 50 per cent of the annual basic salary, is also enjoyed by judges in the country.”

This revelation comes at a time when many Nigerians are struggling to make ends meet, underscoring the stark contrast between the nation’s leadership and its citizenry.

Breakdown of the Allowance

Based on a document obtained from the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission’s (RMAFC) website, the president is entitled to N1.76m annually as a hardship allowance. This implies that within a period of eight years, President Buhari would have earned N14.08m as hardship allowance.

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Buhari, Osinbajo, Governors Reap N651m Hardship Allowance As Economy Struggles 65

Similarly, the Vice President is entitled to N1.52m annually, which would amount to N12.16m in eight years as a hardship allowance.

State governors and their deputies are not left out. With each state governor entitled to N1.11m annually and deputy state governor to N1.06m, their cumulative hardship allowance for the 36 states over eight years would be N319.68m and N305.28m, respectively.

Criticism from Labour Unions

As Buhari’s tenure winds down, labour unions have been vocal about their discontent, accusing his regime and the state governors of impoverishing workers and inflicting hardship on Nigerians.

“Under Buhari’s administration, we have witnessed so many losses of jobs. Some governors laid off so many workers in the North, East and West. There has been a loss of lives as a result of banditry and kidnapping, especially in the South-East, South-West and in the whole North.” – Hakeem Ambali, National Treasurer, Nigeria Labour Congress

Alarming Poverty Rate

A recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that about 133 million Nigerians live in poverty, a figure that has spurred warnings of an impending economic crisis from civil society organisations such as the International Human Rights Commission.

Dr Duru Hezekiah, Ambassador at Large and Head of Diplomatic Missions of IHRC in Nigeria, expressed his concerns, saying, “We are really in an economic crisis. And if it’s not checked, the time is coming when Nigeria will be declared a ‘hunger country’.”

Government’s Response

In response to the outcry, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, assured Nigerians that they would adjust to the economic hardships, stating that such struggles are not unique to Nigeria. He also noted that the agitation by workers for more wages is a global phenomenon.

While the hardship allowance is a legal entitlement for the leadership, the timing and the economic realities beg the question – is it morally justifiable for leaders to continue enjoying such benefits while a significant portion of the population grapples with poverty and unemployment? Only time will tell if this issue will prompt a policy review or continue to widen the gap between the leaders and the led.

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Source: MandyNews.com

I have a passion for blogging about what's trending in Hip-Hop, politics and entertainment. I'm a huge Hip-hop fan; my favorite artiste are Chris Brown, Jay'z & Beyonce. I also enjoy spending time with my team (#TeamWE), and working hard as hard work pays off.

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