Details of the approved 2021 budget have shown that Nigeria would spend about N7.8 billion on the former leaders of the nation’s entitlements, severance allowances, and other requirements.
This comes as Nigeria is planning in 2021 for a revenue deficit, with plans to borrow around a quarter of the budget spending of the year.
A cumulative entitlement of N2.3 billion will be collected this year from the estimated N7.8 billion budgeted as a gratuity for retired government officials, former heads of state, presidents, and their respective deputies.
This is in line with the remuneration of the Act of the Former Presidents.
The Act mandates, as an upkeep benefit, the monthly payment of N350,000 to former presidents and N250,000 to former vice-presidents and general staff chiefs, and this is subject to scrutiny if the salary of the serving president is increased.
Furthermore, the families of all former presidents who have died are entitled to an annual pension of N1 million payable as N250,000 per quarter, while the families of former deputies who have died earn N750,000 per annum payable as N187,500 per quarter.
‘The allowances shall be extended for spousal maintenance and for the education of the children of deceased former heads of state and deceased former vice-presidents up to university level,’ reads the act.
If the deceased leader’s spouse remarries, however, they avoid having the allowance.
In the same way, this year, the retired heads of service and permanent secretaries of the nation will benefit from a combined N4.5 billion.
This is an improvement from the N3.6 billion in 2018 earned by the former officials, and N2.6 billion in 2017.
In addition, retired heads of government agencies and parastatals will share N1 billion among themselves as severance benefits for the fifth year running.