In the United States, while the minimum wage is $1,257 (N191, 667), a US lawmaker earns $15,080 (N2.3m) per month. In the United Kingdom, a lawmaker earns $8,686(N1.3m) monthly while the gross national minimum wage is $1,883 (N283, 333) per month. Also, Nigerian lawmakers earn higher than their counterparts in Sweden. With a monthly pay of $7,707 (N1.2m), a lawmaker in Sweden will need to work for over 12 years to equal what a Nigerian senator earn per annum.
The president of the United States takes home an anual salary of $400,000 (N64.156,0m), including a $50,000 expense allowance making the president the highest paid public servant in the US. The $400,000 includes everything and $350,000 out of it is taxable.
Selected States (salary per annum)
The prime minister of the United Kingdom……USD 226,627.00
French president………………………………….. USD 318,072.00
South African president…………………………..USD 296,112.00
German chancelor………………………………….USD 296,112.00
The Prime Minister of Belgium…………………..USD 174,804.00
President of the Republic of Korea……………..USD 136,669.00
President of Russia…………………………………USD 122,652.00
Prime Minister Portugal……………………………USD 129,730.00
Prime Minister Namibia……………………………USD 115,155.00
President of Angola………………………………..USD 60,000.00
President Argentina………………………………..USD 55,139.00
Prime Minister Ukraine…………………………….USD 61,254.00
President Zimbabwe……………………………….USD 18,000.00
President of People’s republic of China………..USD 10,633.00
President Liberia……………………………………USD 90,000.00
Prime Minister Spain ……………………………..USD 102,960.00
Prime Minister Namibia…………………………..USD 115,155.00
President Namibia…………………………………USD 164,506.00
President of Colombia …………………………..USD 120,685.00
Prime Minister of the Netherlands……………..USD 190,740.00
Prime Minister Ireland……………………………USD 264,000.00
Prime Minister Denmark…………………………USD 264,533.00
President Mexico………………………………….USD 328,839.00
USD 328,839.00 ………………………………….USD 427,886.00
President Austria………………………………….USD 422,231.00
President of the European Council…………….USD 508,916.00
One off payments (Severance gratuity): 300% = N7,452,736.50
Motor Vehicle Allowance: 400% of BS = N9,936,982.00
Total per month = N29, 479, 749.00
A senator’s anual salary = over N182 million
multiply by 109 senators (don’t forget the House of rep, ministers, ambassadors, …)
In addition to the regular and legitimate salaries and allowances of over N17 million ($113,333) and N14.99 million ($99,933) which senators and reps were collecting yearly and the irregular allowance of estacodes, duty tours etc, they were also collecting over N192m ($1.28m) and N140m ($0.93m) respectively in illicit quarterly allocation which is not provided for by RMAFC.
Effectively, a Nigerian senator was taking home at least $1.40m ($1.28m quarterly allocations + $0.113m regular salaries and allowances) as against the $0.174m an American senator takes home hence a Nigeria senator earns at least 8 times as much as an American senator and more than 3 times the American president.
Whereas a Senator in the U.S earns N21, 146,000, the same as a member of the House of Representatives; a UK Member of Parliament earn Â£64,766 (N14, 896,180)
In other words, a Federal Legislator in Nigeria is paid more than double what a Member of British Parliament earns per annum.
Senate President David Mark alone takes N250 million quarterly or N83.33 million per month. Senate Deputy President Ike Ekweremadu gets N150 million per quarter or N50 million a month.
Mark and Ekweremadu earns in 4 months, six times what the UK Prime Minister earns in a year. David Cameron goes home with Â£190,000 per anum (N43, 700,000)
In a newspaper news article entitled ‘An Assembly for looting’ written by Musikilu Mojeed with Elor Nkereuwem, the authors rightly claimed that each of the 360 members of the House of Representatives were getting N35 million in cash money in quarterly allocation while each of the 109 Senators pockets N48 million each. These allocations have however been slashed by 20% to N27 million ($180,000) and N38 million ($253,333) respectively due to the 20% reduction requested by the late president.
Nigeria has never seen anything like it. This story explains how unscrupulous marketers fleeced the nation of N382 billion without supplying a drop of petrol
The scale is huge; the method daring and unprecedented. The plot seems like one in a James Bond movie as unscrupulous Nigerian businessmen scripted an unbelievable heist.
It was a grand deceit, never seen in Nigeria’s history. To benefit from the 2011 fuel subsidy largesse, the oil companies “manufactured” fictional oil ships (vessels) they claimed traversed seas and oceans of the world carrying imaginary petrol, with Nigeria the final destination of the product, the Technical Committee set up by the Federal Government discovered.
For supplying this phantom product to Nigeria, the seven companies involved pocketed a princely N13 billion naira from the 2011 fuel subsidy payments, the committee’s report, secured by PREMIUM TIMES, stated.
Some other companies, not wanting to create fictional vessels, decided to space- travel existing ones; such that real vessels, which were definitely in countries like China and UAE, discharged petrol into storage depots in Nigeria at the exact time they were in those other countries. The 11 companies involved in this category of fraud pocketed N21 billion from the 2011 subsidy payments, the report stated.
Sources in the oil industry reveal that these companies were able to perpetuate this crime with the help of field officers of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory agency (PPPRA) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), men of the Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Custom officers, banks and others involved in the various stages of fuel importation.
These and other fraudulent acts by beneficiaries of the fuel subsidy led the committee to conclude that “all the affected oil marketing and trading companies found to have violated various aspects of the PSF guidelines … should refund the subsidy payments for a total sum of N422, 542,937,668.59 (four hundred and twenty two billion, five hundred and forty two million, nine hundred and thirty seven thousand, six hundred and sixty eight naira, fifty-nine kobo).”
To get the details of fraudulent transactions involving ships, “a review team (set up by the committee) made up of experienced bank auditors,” used methods such as tracking “the location of mother vessels with the Lloyds List intelligence.”
The list is the internationally reliable method of determining the location of any vessel at any point in time.
The committee’s report has since been reviewed by another Presidential panel headed by the same person. However, most of the findings and recommendations remain, with the indicted firms now expected to refund N382 billion
The fictional ships
On Wednesday, October 19, 2011, a vessel, MT Zhen Star, purportedly arrived in Nigerian waters. The 58,000 metric tonnes of petrol contained in the vessel was owned by two companies: Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited; and Caades Oil and Gas Limited.
In the presence of PPPRA officials, DPR officers, naval officers, customs, and so on, Masters discharged 28,000 metric tonnes from the vessel, while Caades discharged 10, 000 metric tonnes of petrol. While the former collected N2.9 billion as subsidy for this import, the latter got N1 billion.
The irony however is that the vessel, MT Zhen Star, does not exist and no fuel was imported. The two companies, with the complicity of the stated public officials, successfully duped Nigeria of N3.9 billion.
While commenting on this fraudulent transaction, the technical committee, headed by Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, stated that “the subsidy on this transaction must have been wrongly paid since MT Zhen which was supposedly used could neither be located on the Lloyds List intelligence nor anywhere on the West African Coast.”
Other companies that created such fictional ships to get their share of the subsidy largesse are Matrix Energy Limited, Top Oil and Gas, Ocean Energy Trading and Services Ltd, Down Stream Energy Source Limited, and Ceoti Limited ( partly owned by controversial businessman, Jide Omokore).
However, unlike the House of Representatives, which clearly called for the prosecution of fraudulent beneficiaries of the petrol subsidy, Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede’s committee was lenient, even in its choice of words. It only recommended that such illegal payments be recovered.
Unable to create fictional vessels, some companies space-travelled real ones.
The ship travel abracadabra
When Brilla Energy Limited submitted its subsidy claims for the last quarter of 2011, it claimed to have imported 13,000 metric tonnes of petrol. The oil was brought into Nigeria by the vessel, MT Delphina Ex MT Overseas Limar, which arrived at offshore Cotonou, Benin republic.
On October 1, a vessel, MT Dani, was used to transport the petrol, from the original vessel, into a storage depot in Nigeria, a delivery which was witnessed by the appropriate officials.
From this transaction alone, Brilla got a subsidy payment of N1 billion.
However, contrary to Brilla’s claim, the vessel, MT Delphina Ex MT Overseas Limar, was in China on October 1.
“There is no basis for the subsidy payment since the mother vessel (MT Delphina Ex MT Overseas Limar) was nowhere near the West African coast at the time of purported discharge of PMS,” the committee established.
Apart from Brilla, 10 other companies were involved in such deceit with Nigeria paying N21 billion for the phantom products. Some of the companies involved are Capital Oil Plc, Obat Oil and Gas, Matrix Energy, and A-Z Petroleum Limited.
Again, the committee failed to recommend any prosecution of culpable companies. Failure to prove the location of the importing vessels, the companies “should refund all monies received in full,” while the role of PPPRA in the deals should be investigated.
Raising the Dead
On December 20, 2011, Nasaman Oil Services Limited claimed it discharged petrol from a vessel, MT Hellenic Blue. The vessel had berthed on the waters of the Republic of Benin, offshore Cotonou, the oil company claimed.
Contrary to the company’s claim, MT Hellenic blue had been dead and unused since February 17, 2010. Four years before its death, the ship had its name changed to MT Nireus.
It was this dead and defunct vessel that Nasaman claimed delivered its petrol. Nasaman and five other companies, with similar ships miraculously raised from the dead, received N8 billion as subsidy from such transactions
Several months earlier, Nasaman made N750 million from the subsidy fund, when it claimed it received 7,500 metric tonnes of petrol from a vessel, MT Overseas Limar, off the Cotonou coast, on January 27, 2011. The ship was in the US Gulf on that day.
Another method, discovered by the committee, used by oil companies to fleece the government include falsification of bank documents presented to the PPPRA.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported exclusively on how fake bank documents (Letters of credit, Form M, etc) were allegedly submitted to the PPPRA , by petrol importers in collaboration with bank officials, and how the agency wrote to the Central Bank of Nigeria for authentication of the documents.
The CBN refused to either verify the documents or respond to the PPPRA’s letter.
Banks disowned thirteen transactions involving eight companies. These transactions cost the Federal Government N21bn in subsidy payment.
“The disclaimer of these transactions by the banks shows that they did not exist in the first place and consequently, there was no basis for the payment of subsidy claims,” the committee stated.
Top of the companies involved in this falsification is A-Z Petroleum, which got N2.3 billion from four of such deals. Oando Plc, which prides itself as ‘sub-Saharan Africa’s leading integrated energy group’ also had one transaction of N1.3bn, disclaimed by the alleged sponsoring bank, although the company has since refuted the finding.
Again, despite the criminality involved, all the committee recommended was a refund of the subsidy collected from such payment.
Ignore the banks
Despite the alleged role of banks and bank officials in the fuel subsidy scam, and as reported exclusively by PREMIUM TIMES, the committee did not investigate the culpability of banks in the scam.
Several of its findings indicate that the banks had knowledge of some of the fraudulent transactions going on.
In one of its findings, the committee stated that “112 transactions did not have evidence of sale proceeds based on banks’ available records at the date of the verification.” The subsidy paid for these transactions was N157 billion.
In other words, the banks received the N157 billion on behalf of the companies even when there was no evidence before it that the companies sold any fuel. None of the 19 banks, which financed the 2011 fuel imports, as reported earlier by PREMIUM TIMES, complained to the CBN or the PPPRA about such transaction.
The committee had three senior bankers as members, with Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede, the Group Managing Director of Access bank, as head.
“It is like witnessing a crime. If you don’t report it appropriately, knowing that you will benefit from, then you are definitely an accomplice,” a banker involved in oil and gas banking stated.
We can’t recover everything
Although the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has already commenced prosecution of some of the indicted companies, Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede has advised Nigerians not to expect all the N382 billion to be recovered.
“It will be naïve that we can recover the whole amount,” he said. “The most important thing is that the State diligently pursues recovery to its logical conclusion.
Good day to you all.
First, let me introduce myself briefly – I am Perez working for an International Organisation in its Regional Office here in Nigeria, and we have been undertaking this research to find out the top 5 performing Governors in Nigeria. We started from 10 top performing Governors and from the votes we gathered, we cut it to 5. Every interested person is entitled to vote but at the end of it all we will come out with accurate results that will represent peoples’ opinions. It will interest me to state here some of the views and the rankings of the Governors base on the votes and information gathered so far. We will take opinions here and add them to the ones already gathered. Just vote or say your mind, and I plead that attacking or insulting someone base on his or her opinion is not allowed. Let mature minds vote, and let ones opinion be his or her opinion.
The result gathered so far shows their rankings as follows –
1. Rochas Okorocha – Imo State Governor
2. Akpabio Godswil – Akwa Ibom State Governor
3. Raji Fashola – Lagos State Governor
4. Oshiomole – Edo State Governor
5. Rotimi Amachi– Rivers State Governor
[b]5. Chime – Enugu State Governor (2 Governors battle for the 5th position)
Rochas – Many argued that Rochas has performed more than all the Governors pointing out that his one year in office has transformed Imo State, his Security votes cut down, road constructions, and Imo State University is virtually enjoying free education which no other governor has dreamed off, and employment created. They also stated that Imo State is paying the highest minimum wage in Nigeria despite its little revenue. They argued that if Rochas should have half of Lagos State revenue, Imo State will be like Dubai under Rochas administration . Kicks – Others see Rochas as pretending, stressing that he is just doing this to be considered as the next President or to get second term, and then come back and sell Imo state.
Akpabio – Many also argued that Akpabio has embarked on massive construction of roads, creating employments. They also believed that developments witnessed in Akwa Ibom State have never been seen in the state since its inception. They also said that for a Governor to perform well like this even when he is not coming for second term shows that he is not a pretender. Kicks – Others see his performance as a result of the revenue allocation which Akwa Ibom State is among the top 5 revenue earning states from the Federal Government.
Fashola – Many also argued that Fashola has performed more than all the governors that have ruled Lagos State. Infact, they said that his performance has dwarfed Tinubu’s when he was in the Office. They also argued that Lagos roads are being repaired from time to time and new roads constructed on daily basis. The BRT is working perfectly to reduce traffic on the Lagos Roads, and employment created. Kicks – Others argued that Fashola’s performance is based on the revenue that is allocated to Lagos, couple with his huge internal generated revenue, and inspite of this revenue, Lagos State University tuition fee is sky-rocketed to the level that the total money a student of Imo State University will spend throughout his stay in the University is lower than that which a student of Lagos State University will spend for only 1 year in the school.
Generally, the opinions maintained that the top 5 states have done enough to keep their states clean, reduce touts, and create employments, construct roads, carry the people around and finally, they are the peoples’ Governors.
The above are just few opinions of people for the top 3 contenders. For you, who is the best performing? Arrange them in order of your preference.
– Naira Land