Earlier today a report emerged in which current minister of transportation and former governor of Rivers state, Chibuike Amaechi, stated that he earned a ‘meager’ N950,000 per month as Minister.
This brings his total earnings from his basic salary to N11.4 million a year pre-tax. In his speech which was at the presentation of a book titled, ‘Dignity in Service,’ authored by the late Dr. Matthew Mbu, he said this
“A minister earns only N950, 000 a month. Out of this money, N350, 000 is for accommodation so there is no more money given to you. The remaining N600, 000 includes payment for your staff, personal assistants and all that”
This is dubious as a report from November 2015 in which a letter sent to all the ministers sworn into the Buhari government by the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir David Lawal and found on The Nation newspaper, breaks down the salaries and allowances given to ministers. See below
- Car Refueling and Service is N1,519,000
- Domestic Staff is N1,519,000
- Entertainment is N911,800
- Utilities cost N607,920.
- Personal Assistant allowance is N506,600
- Monitoring allowance is N405,280
- Newspaper allowance is N303,960.
- Leave Allowance is N202,640.
- Tour duty allowance is N35,000.
- Estacode allowance is $900 per night
- Housing allowance is N4,052,800.
- Furniture allowance is N6,079,200.
- Motor Vehicle loan is N8,105,600
- Basic salary is N2,026,400
*All of the above is per annum
Minus the Estacode allowance, all this put together comes to N24.24 million to each minister per annum and if further broken down to monthly bits, then we can estimate that ministers earn around N2 million per month.
But let’s disregard this for a second and instead look at how this compares to Amaechi’s time as Rivers state Governor when he threw a party that cost $500,000 for Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka to celebrate the great playwright’s 80th birthday.
At the time of the celebration– which was heavily criticised especially by the then Rivers State Information Commissioner, Dr. Austin Tam-George who even went as far as asking for a refund of the money spent, to which Wole Soyinka responded that while saddened that such an amount was spent which probably didn’t come from Amaechi’s pocket, he was ultimately indifferent to it–the amount was said to be around N82 million (the dollar was at N164)
How much is that today you ask?
Well, in today’s world, the $500,000 celebration by Amaechi would cost a whopping N180,000,000 to host, due to the inflationary effects the Buhari administration has had on the FX rate.
To get that into context, say Amaechi actually earns N950,000 a month (which in his words includes payment for personal assistants and staff), it would take him 15 years (or 4 terms) of saving every single penny of his salary to host such a lavish event.
At the book launch he spoke at, he also said this
”Nigerians like going to parties. That is one benefit of this government. We now assess our wealth and value money. Before, once you get money from the illegal means, we hold parties. There are very few parties these days because there is no more money to hold such parties. There are no ‘owambe’ anymore because there is very little money to hold ‘owambe.’ The reason is that the ‘owambe’ money used to come from the government and there is no money in the government to do such.”
This statement is so true– Nigerians do love parties, Nigerians also do not have money to throw parties, but rather than the explanation given by ‘poor Amaechi’, that people no longer have looted money to spend, in actuality it’s really that people no longer have any money to spend.
This statement is a damning indictment on a government that in nice terms, hasn’t really worked for Nigerians so far.
Maybe the next party that Amaechi throws for a dignitary he’ll have to open a Gofundme account to make it work.
Time will tell.
In other news, remember that time Amaechi said he lost US$39 million to fraudsters because he was learning on the job.
What other tale will Amaechi tell Nigerians, only time will tell, but for other nuggets, search our Amaechi archives.