Since 2017, the sum of N5.9 billion is usually allocated to cater to retired top government officials. In line with the remuneration stipulated in the Presidents Act, a sum of N350,000 is paid to former Presidents and N250,000 to former Vice-Presidents and Chiefs of general staff subject to the salary received by the serving President. This year, N7.8 billion will be spent on entitlements to former leaders. Of the total amount, N2.3 billion will be paid to former heads of state, Presidents and their vices.
Benefits also assigned to existing Presidents and their vices include six security and personal aides, well-furnished offices, a five-bedroom apartment in any location of their choice, vehicles replaceable every four years, diplomatic passport for life, free medical treatment which may be abroad for themselves and their immediate families, and a thirty-day all-expense-paid annual vacation within and outside Nigeria. In addition, 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.
Retired heads of service and permanent secretaries are not left out. A sum of N4.5 billion would be paid to the officials while N1 billion would go to retired heads of government agencies and parastatals as severance benefits. Since 2019, a combined fund of N4.5 billion as benefits has been allocated to these officlas while N3.9 billion goes to the retired chief of defence staff, service chiefs, generals, colonels and army warrant officers.
The total allocation for the year is the second-lowest compared to N11.7 billion, N31.5 billion, and N11.9 billion spent in 2020, 2019, and 2018 respectively.
Why this Matters
For a country in dire financial straits, these figures highlight how much is invested into the welfare of former executive office holders and highlights the need for reform of some sorts. By the end of 2021, it would have cost Nigeria N68.8 billion in five years to keep up with these entitlements.