Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has revealed that when on trips within the country, he gets paid N25, 000 per night as incidental allowance.
He however refused to reveal the amount he gets paid per night on foreign trips as well as his full remuneration, insisting that they were as approved by the Presidency.
The central banker was responding to a request from a Lagos-based lawyer, Mr Bamidele Aturu for details of his remuneration and expenditures according with the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2011.
However, the answer did little to satisfy the lawyer who insisted on Sanusi revealing the full details of his earnings and allowances. Though he commended the Governor for his prompt response, saying it would encourage other public institutions to conduct their affairs transparently, he added that he was planning a follow-up on the request as it was obvious the CBN had misunderstood some of the questions.
“We are impressed that the Governor is entitled to only N25, 000 as daily allowance when he travels within Nigeria. That is not excessive at all by Nigerian public officials’ standards and given his lofty position. However, it is a little troubling that while the Bank was willing to state the local daily allowance it refused to state what the Governor earns when he travels outside the country,” he said.
Aturu’s letter dated 31 December, 2012 had requested that the CBN Governor provide information concerning recurrent expenditures for him and his office pursuant to Sections 1, 3 and 4 of the FOI Act 2011.
“We still expect the Governor to answer the question as he is in a position to know exactly what he earns and if he does not know he could have simply said so.
“We agree with the Bank that the time frame we gave, as required by law, was insufficient to calculate or sum up the amount spent on chartered flights within and outside Nigeria. To this end, we shall be doing a follow up and although we are required to give seven days, we promise the bank not to sue immediately until about 28 days after the follow up to give the bank added tome to add up the figures,” Aturu stated.
The Legal Adviser/Director, Legal Services of the CBN, S.M. Onekutu who had responded on Sanusi’s behalf said that not only is the governor’s take-home pay as stipulated by the Board and approved by the President in accordance with Section 8(3) of the CBN Act, it is also benchmarked against the banking industry as approved in the federal government’s white paper on the presidential committee on consolidation of emoluments in the Public Service.
“However, we are unable to release the details of the Governor’s salary and allowances as that information is already a subject of litigation in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1016/2011: Uzoegwu F. O. C Vs CBN & HAGF. The matter is on appeal and it will be prejudicial to comment on it,” he added.
The other requests were how much allowances were paid on foreign trips, whether the CBN owned aircraft, what classes of flight the governor travelled in when on official trips within and outside the country, how many cleaners, drivers are attached to the governor’s office and residence as well as how much imprest he collects monthly among others.
Onekutuwent on to respond by disclosing that the governor flew by Business Class within the country and First Class outside Nigeria and added that Sanusi had occasionally used chartered planes to travel within and outside the country as dictated by exigencies.
On how many drivers are attached to Sanusi’s office and home he said “the governor’s official drivers are drawn from the pool of drivers in the Governor’s Department, and are sourced from the pool of drivers in the Governor’s Office Department on need basis. On number of cleaners, he said “the Bank (CBN), as a matter of policy does not employ cleaners, therefore, there are no cleaners attached to his office or home.
On monthly imprest he said “No monthly imprest is maintained by the Governor” Onekutu said and maintained that the Governor’s entitlement for foreign trips is as approved by the Federal Government.
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