The payment of retirement benefits to Nigeria’s former presidents, former vice presidents, and former Chief of Staff have gulped a total sum of N9.2 billion in four years, analysis has shown.
This is as the Federal Government has allocated another N2.3 billion to be paid to Nigeria’s former ruling leaders in 2022.
The huge annual budgetary allocation is in spite of poor pension benefits paid by the government to retired police officers, and a high unemployment rate of 33.3 percent in the country.
This analysis, which covers 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, showed that the benefits of the former serving leaders is backed by the Nigerian constitution.
In addition to the benefits, the welfare package also include provision for personal staff, security, vehicles, medical treatment and annual vacation.
However, in 2017, the former leaders and their deputies received a total of N5.9 billion as gratuity as well.
The Act stipulates that former presidents should be paid the sum of N350,000 per month as an up-keep allowance while their former deputies and former Chief of Staff will receive N250,000, each.
This amount may be reviewed whenever there is an increase in the salary of the serving president.
Other Welfare Packages Enjoyed By Former Ruling Leaders
Other perks they are entitled to, as stipulated in Part 1 of the Act, include the employment of an officer not below the rank of a Chief Administrative Officer and a personal secretary, whose salaries will be paid by the Federal Government.
They also get three to four armed policemen as part of their escorts as well as One State Security Service Officer, not below Grade Level 10 as an aide to be attached for life and paid by the State Security Agencies.
Others include three vehicles to be bought by the Federal Government, which will be replaced every four years, drivers to be selected by the Head of State, and paid by the Federal Government, a diplomatic passport for life, entitled to protocol within and outside Nigeria.
Also, all former Heads of State and their spouses shall take the third position after the serving President and the serving Vice-President at all public functions in order of precedence.
The former Nigerian leaders and their immediate families will also enjoy free medical treatment within Nigeria, medical treatment abroad where necessary at Federal Government expense and 30 days annual vacation within and outside Nigeria at Federal Government expense.
The families of all deceased former presidents are, however, entitled to an annual allowance of N1 million which will be paid 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.
Who Are The Beneficiaries?
The former leaders receiving these benefits are General Yakubu Gowon, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, General Ibrahim Babangida, Chief Ernest Shonekan, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, General Olusegun Obasanjo, and Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
While the former vice presidents and chiefs of general staff are Dr Alex Ekwueme, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, General Oladipupo Diya, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku and Alhaji Namadi Sambo.
Deceased ex-presidents, whose families are constitutionally expected to reap from the welfare package are Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (prime minister), General Aguiyi-Ironsi, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (ceremonial president), General Murtala Muhammed and General Sani Abacha.