Amidst Petrol Subsidy Removal, Ministers’ Accommodation Allowances Spark Controversy

As President Bola Tinubu’s administration enforces the abrupt removal of petrol subsidy, exacerbating financial burdens for Nigerian citizens, revelations about the substantial accommodation allowances granted to new ministers have ignited public debate.

Each minister in the Tinubu administration is set to receive a staggering N405 million as accommodation allowance annually, while junior ministers and ministers of State, will be allotted N3.92 million each annually. The figures were disclosed by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in 2009. Specifically, the accommodation allowances for each category are as follows:

  • Minister: ₦4.05 million
  • Minister of State: ₦3.92 million

The timing of this disclosure has coincided with President Tinubu’s initiation of a tax reform committee to enhance government revenue generation. Meanwhile, in an attempt to ease the ongoing financial hardships stemming from the subsidy removal, the President disbursed N5 billion to each state of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, for palliative intervention.

Amidst these developments, concerns have arisen surrounding the senators’ holiday allowances. The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, recently announced the disbursement of N2 million to each of the 109 senators for holiday allowances, amounting to a total of N218 million.

Moreover, discontent has grown over the size of the federal cabinet under President Tinubu’s administration. The nomination of 48 ministers, with 45 subsequently confirmed by the Senate, has been criticized in the context of existing complaints about the high cost of governance in Nigeria. Notably, this number does not include the 20 special advisers initially appointed by the President, some of whom were later elevated to ministerial positions. This contrasts with the fact that former President Muhammadu Buhari worked with 42 ministers during his tenure.

The sum total of ministers’ accommodation allowances, in addition to other allowances and extra-legal fiscal allocations, raises concerns about fiscal prudence. Furthermore, as the administration grapples with the petrol subsidy’s removal and its economic ramifications, the President has yet to address the Senate’s rejection of three ministerial nominees.

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