Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Saturday, carpeted President Bola Tinubu over the bloated structure of his about-to-be sworn in cabinet, saying the All Progressives Congress (APC) government is reckless with taxpayers’ monies.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said 48 ministers is way too much for any government that is indeed serious about cutting the cost of governance and removal of petrol subsidy.
According to a SATURDAY PUNCH report, the 48 ministerial nominees whose names were forwarded to the Senate for clearance by Tinubu and about 560 commissioners-designates in the states where elections held this year may cost the country about N23.4bn in salaries.
The figure was based on the recommended salaries and allowances for ministers and commissioners by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission.
Aside from the annual basic salaries, the figure includes such as allowances for accommodation (200 per cent of basic salary), domestic staff (75 per cent of basic salary), utilities (30 per cent of basic salary), house maintenance (five per cent of basic salary), wardrobe (25 per cent of basic salary), furniture (300 per cent of basic salary), motor vehicle fuelling allowance (75 per cent of basic salary), and entertainment allowance (45 per cent of basic salary), among others.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “President Bola Tinubu has set the record for the highest number of ministerial nominees in Nigeria since 1999 when democracy returned to the country. The bloated list of ministers by Tinubu speaks of his insensitivity towards forming a lean and inexpensive government in a time of austerity staring millions of Nigerians in their faces.
“For a government that removed subsidy on petrol with pump price jumping from N184 per litre to over N600 and failed to provide quick palliatives to succor the pain of Nigerians going through hardship, a bloated cabinet is hypocritical and insensitivity to the feelings of the Nigerian people.”