PROJECTED ANNUAL COST OF HOUSING ALLOWANCES FOR NEWLY APPOINTED MINISTERS RAISES CONCERNS
The allocation of housing allowances to recently appointed ministers in Nigeria has raised financial concerns, with estimations indicating that it could cost the country approximately N343.25 million annually. This financial allocation has ignited discussions about the country's expenditure and calls for more prudent use of resources.
Should this annual allocation persist over a four-year term, the Federal Government's expenditure on the accommodation of the 45 ministers-designate could accumulate to a substantial N1.37 billion. These housing allowances are structured based on factors such as accommodation (200% of basic salary), domestic staff (75% of basic salary), utilities (30% of basic salary), and furniture (300% of basic salary). Unlike other monthly allowances, furniture allowances are typically granted once every four years.
Bola Tinubu, the President, recently unveiled the ministerial portfolios, revealing a list of appointees that included 45 ministers-designate. This count places Tinubu ahead of his predecessors, raising concerns over the implications of heightened governance costs.
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While there are arguments for the necessity of such a large number of ministers, economic experts have voiced concerns over the financial implications. Prof Akpakpan Edet, an economist, emphasized that the increase in the number of ministers could lead to higher governance expenses. He expressed that a more streamlined approach could yield effective governance without overburdening the country's finances.
Deborah Oluwagbenga, another economist, echoed these concerns, highlighting Nigeria's existing financial constraints and debt burden. She noted that reducing the cost of governance would be more beneficial for the country's overall economic stability.
As discussions about the allocation of housing allowances and governance costs continue, the balance between efficient governance and responsible financial management remains a focal point for Nigeria's leadership.