TICKER: ‘17,500 public officers consume N1.15 trillion annually’ – Rights group

A rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law(Intersociety), has released its research statement showing how a total N1.15 trillion is spent annually on Nigeria’s 17,500 public officers and their retinue of over 24,000 aides.

The group also reported that Nigeria has the lowest public service productivity index in the world.

Intersociety’s research memo entitled “How Nigeria’s trillions and $44 billion public debts are pocketed by her top leaders,” obtained by LEADERSHIP also highlighted how less than 30 per cent of the annual budget is allocated to 160 million Nigerians through provision of infrastructure and social amenities.

The statement which was signed by Comrade Emeka Umeagbalasi, its chairman, Board of Trustees, listed the public officers who take part in wasting such funds to include 3,096 local government executives and 8,692 councillors of the 774 local governments in Nigeria, 1,152 House of Assembly members, 469 federal lawmakers, among others.

According to the group, the matter is made worse by the fact that Nigeria has approximately 24,165 unconstitutional public aides recruited as special assistants and special advisers by the 17,500 top elected and appointed public officials whose salaries are covered by the Salaries and Allowances Amended Act.

Intersociety condemned the after-effect of the practice which, it argued, has made the country accumulate a huge debt profile of about $44bn arising from the implementation of deficit budgets over the years by state governments and the federal government.

Speaking on its position on the issue, the group contended that “Nigeria’s budget policies have remained crudely stagnated and one of the most fraudulent, anti- development and anti-people as its budgets were being consumed by about 17,500 top elected and appointed public officers in the country in the form of recurrent expenses, covering personnel and overhead costs.”

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