Details of the approved 2021 budget have shown that Nigeria will spend around N7.8 billion on entitlements, severance allowances and other perquisites to the nation’s former leaders.
This comes as Nigeria prepares for a revenue shortage in 2021, with plans to borrow about a quarter of the year’s budget expenditure.
This year, of the total N7.8 billion budgeted as gratuity for retired government officials, former heads of state, presidents and their respective deputies will earn a combined entitlement of N2.3 billion.
This is in accordance with the remuneration for the former presidents‘ act. As upkeep allowance, the act mandates the monthly payment of N350,000 to former presidents and N250,000 to former vice-presidents and chiefs of general staff, and this is subject to a review whenever there is an increase in the salary of the serving president.
Also, the families of all deceased former presidents are entitled to an annual allowance of N1 million payable as N250,000 per quarter, while the families of deceased former deputies get N750,000 per annum payable in the sum of N187,500 per quarter.
“The allowances shall be applied for the up-keep of the spouse and education of the children of deceased former heads of state and deceased former vice-presidents up to the university level,” the act reads.
However, if the spouse of the deceased leader remarries, they stop getting the allowance.
In the same vein, the nation’s retired heads of service and permanent secretaries will get a combined N4.5 billion as benefits this year.
This is an increase from the N3.6 billion the former officials got in 2018, and N2.6 billion in 2017.
Also, for the fifth year running, retired heads of government agencies and parastatals will share among themselves N1 billion as severance benefits.