What is the Cost of Governance in Nigeria

Nuelson Penuel Wednesday, May 31, 2023 Basis

##Overview of the Cost of Governance in Nigeria The cost of governance in Nigeria is generally considered to be high, with a significant proportion of the government revenue being spent on running the government rather than on developmental projects. The components of the cost of governance in Nigeria include salaries and allowances of government officials, procurement of vehicles, maintenance of government buildings, and other overhead costs. The National Assembly is seen as one of the most expensive arms of the Nigerian government, with an allocation of over 100 billion naira in the 2021 budget for recurrent expenditure. The high salaries and allowances of lawmakers have been a subject of controversy, as many have argued that they are disproportionate to the work being done. In addition, there are many other agencies and parastatals that have been criticized for their high overhead costs that do not necessarily contribute to the development of the country. Experts have advocated for a reduction in the cost of governance to free up resources for investing in critical areas like healthcare, education, and infrastructure development. However, achieving this will require significant political will and a commitment to fiscal discipline by the government and its officials. ##Cost of Governance in Nigeria Here is a breakdown of the cost of governance in Nigeria by expenditure category: 1. Salaries and allowances of political office holders: According to the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the annual salary and allowances of the President is N30,000,000 ($76,000), while that of a senator is N13,500,000 ($34,000) and a member of the House of Representatives is N10,132,000 ($25,000). 2. Salaries and allowances of civil servants: The salary structure of civil servants is based on the grade level, with the minimum wage set at N30,000 ($75). The total annual salary and allowances of a Permanent Secretary, the highest-ranking officer in the civil service, can be up to N15,409,023 ($38,000). 3. Administrative and overhead costs: There is no specific data on the exact amount spent on administrative and overhead costs in Nigeria. However, a significant portion of the national budget is allocated to running the day-to-day activities of various government agencies. 4. Government-owned and maintained assets: The exact cost of maintaining government-owned assets, such as state houses, government offices, and government-owned vehicles, is unknown. 5. Debt service costs: According to Debt Management Office (DMO) data, Nigeria's total public debt as of September 2020 was N31.01 trillion ($80 billion), and the interest payment on this debt constitutes a substantial portion of the country's annual budget. 6. Political appointments and patronage: There is no specific data on the exact amount spent on political appointments and patronage, but it is considered a significant factor that contributes to the cost of governance. ##Summary In summary, the total cost of governance in Nigeria is difficult to estimate accurately, but it is clear that it constitutes a massive burden on the national economy, reducing the resources available to address critical sectors such as education, healthcare, infrastructure development, and poverty reduction.

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