Last week, former Ogun state governor, Gbenga Daniels, made the news when he disclosed that he had written to his state government demanding that his allowances and pension as a former governor be suspended now that he’s a senator representing Ogun East district.

We’re always happy to call out Nigerian politicians when they misbehave. We are equally happy to commend them when they do the right thing. In a letter Daniels shared on his Twitter page on July 6, he revealed that his monthly payment was ₦676,376.95k.

What did the letter say?

The letter, addressed to the Ogun state governor, Dapo Abiodun, read in part: 

“I write to request for the suspension of my monthly pension/allowances of 676,376.95 (gross) (Six Hundred and Seventy-Six Thousand, Three Hundred Seventy-Six Naira, Ninety-Five Kobo) being paid as a former Executive Governor of Ogun State.

The request is in compliance with my conscience, moral principle and ethical code against double emoluments that a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who hitherto was a former State Governor shall not be entitled to the payment of pension and allowances from such state.”

What have the reactions been like?

Online, the reactions have been met with some applause and criticism. Some people have lauded Daniels and asked that the former governor, now senator, should propose a 50% reduction in the National Assembly budget.

Some say making an announcement was unnecessary, especially on social media. 

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What can Nigerian politicians take away from this?

We’ve written about how this government asks a lot from Nigerians without making sacrifices themselves. So for a high-ranking government official to take this step, even for show, is good optics. 

That said, there have been reports in the news that President Tinubu’s ministerial cabinet would have at least 42 ministers and 20 special advisers. This points to a bloated cabinet, which is sure to put a drain on the government’s finances.

Naturally, the current administration would argue that it is within the president’s right to appoint many ministers from across the federation, keeping with the federal character principle. Not many Nigerians agree.

It may be a long shot to ask the president to trim down his cabinet. However, he can consider cutting his wages and asking his appointees to make that sacrifice. According to the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), ministers and cabinet members, such as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, earn at least ₦650,136.65k every month. Ministers of state get ₦628,056.91k. However, this may not account for all of their allowances. 

As a matter of urgency, the government should look to downsize. If others like Daniels are on double remuneration, it is unconscionable. Those politicians should toe the honourable path and have the extra emoluments terminated. The RMFAC should also be up and about plugging these leakages.

Kudos to Daniels, who has done an arguably decent thing. Other Nigerian politicians should take a cue from him. As citizens, you can tweet at your elected leaders asking them to move a motion to cut out double remuneration for former governors now in the National Assembly or reduce total pensions for ex-Governors.



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