HUMAN Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to sack the ‘ghost ministers’ in his cabinet who are either not known to actually be working for Nigerians yet taxpayers funds are spent servicing their offices.
HURIWA lamented that out of the over 45 ministers in the Federal cabinet of the current Federal government, only less than 20+6 ministers can be proven without any shadow of doubt to have been attending to their duties whereas the rest of the bunch obviously operate like ‘ghost ministers’ with zero impacts to the generality of the citizens of Nigeria.
Besides, HURIWA has called on the President to, in the spirit of the high costs of living of most Nigerians, and in realisation that over 133 million Nigerian households are multi-dimensionally poor, to acknowledge the need to cut down on the extremely high cost of running the Federal government.
HURIWA said the government cannot continue to remain adamant and insensitive to the clarion calls for downsizing of the Federal cabinet and cut down the cost of governance but instead has kept an over-bloated cabinet that could cost Nigeria a whooping N23.4 as a year salaries for the huge bureaucracy.
The figure was based on the recommended salaries and allowances for ministers and commissioners by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission.
Aside from the annual basic salaries, the figure includes such as allowances for accommodation (200 per cent of basic salary), domestic staff (75 per cent of basic salary), utilities (30 per cent of basic salary), house maintenance (five per cent of basic salary), wardrobe (25 per cent of basic salary), furniture (300 per cent of basic salary), motor vehicle fuelling allowance (75 per cent of basic salary), and entertainment allowance (45 per cent of basic salary), among others.
The furniture allowance is paid once every four years.
HURIWA said it is not a good record that President Tinubu set for himself for appointing the highest number of ministerial appointees in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic (1999 to date) with 48, which experts said would likely worsen the high governance costs.
The President’s ministers topped the 42 appointed by his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2019 by five more persons just as the Rights group lamented the deterioration of the quality of service delivery by the members of the Federal Executive Council constituted by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu going by the groundswell of opinions by majority of Nigerians that for the first time in the political historicity of the country, there seems to be many ‘ghost’ members of the Federal cabinet at the moment.
HURIWA recalled that a US based online newspaper with focus on Nigeria recently disclosed that some cabinet level ministers have gone underground even as the online publication said the two ministers – though for different reasons – have not attended any Federal Executive Council meeting since the inauguration of this government.
Two Nigerian ministers – Lola Ade-John of the Ministry of Tourism and Hannatu Musawa of the Ministry of Art, Culture and Creative Economy – have been missing in action almost since they were sworn in by President Bola Tinubu in August.
The online publication learnt that the two ministers – though for different reasons – have not attended any Federal Executive Council meeting since the inauguration of this government.
Tinubu presided over the fourth FEC meeting of his administration on Monday, October 29, 2023, and Ms Ade-John and Ms Musawa were again missing.
As for Ade-John, she is currently receiving treatment in a hospital in London, United Kingdom, SaharaReporters learnt on Tuesday.
Sources told the online newspaper that Ms Ade-John was seriously ill contrary to the claims made by the tourism ministry, which has been downplaying her health condition.
“Lola Ade-John is very ill and receiving treatment in a London hospital,” one of the sources said.
HURIWA recalled that the Peoples Gazette in September reported that Ms Ade-John had been hospitalised in Abuja after suffering acute poisoning of unknown origin and that her family members were afraid that time was running against their efforts to save her life.
HURIWA in the media statement by the National Coordinator also stated that most of these ministers like the two young ones posted to the ministry of youths have hardly been seen by Nigerians neither have these and many other ‘hidden ministers’ been sighted by the citizens in their line of duty.
“HURIWA is by this media intervention urging the president to carry out a quick cabinet shake up to drop the ‘ghosts’ that now populate his cabinet and then set up a very lean government that wouldn’t continued to be the money guzzling administration that it is at the moment. The way to go is for the administration to be downsized to a very manageable extent so service delivery can be optimised and resources conserved and invested in human capital development and into other critical areas of governance such as education, infrastructures and economic empowerment of the severely impoverished 133 million multidimensionally poor households in Nigeria.”
-November 14, 2023 @ 13:57 GMT |