Politicians in Nigeria get perks cut

December 29, 2015 2:27 am

 

Muhammadu
Buhari, the former general elected as President in May, has introduced
tough rules slashing the amount staff can spend on perks. Photo / AP

With luxury air travel, five-star hotels and vast entourages, the
life of a Nigerian politician has been more akin to that of a rap star
than a public servant.
But after decades of draining government coffers, the country’s political elite are having their business-class wings trimmed.
Muhammadu
Buhari, the former general elected as President in May, has introduced
tough rules slashing the amount staff can spend on perks.
Public
servants must now obtain prior permission for trips outside of the
capital, Abuja, and they will be able to travel business class only if
they are on an official government mission.
Buhari has also made
it clear private journeys will no longer be funded by the public purse.
He appointed his cabinet only in November, having spent the previous six
months scrutinising accounts handed to him by predecessor Goodluck
Jonathan.

A major fraud investigation is under way over claims that up
to 15 billion ($33 billion) in oil revenues were siphoned off during the
Jonathan Administration.
One of the biggest changes is the
decision to stop funding the entourage, the way for any Nigerian “Big
Man” to show he is a figure of influence. An entourage could involve 30
or more “assistants” travelling everywhere with a VIP.

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