Society

Counting Cost: British Monarch, Prime Minister with Nigerian President, Traditional Rulers

“The Nigerian president does not feed himself. Billions of Naira are budgeted for his food, drinks, clothes, electronics, furniture and cooking utensils. It is safe to say the salaries of a Nigerian leader is vague and unspecified. Only God knows how much is spent to maintain the president.”

The British Queen does not need to steal public funds. She was born rich, and will never need to work or hold public office for her to live a comfortable life. This includes generations of her family, including the unborn.

The Queen had inherited private income that includes money from private estates, such as Sandringham and Balmoral Castle, and her personal investment portfolio. She even pays personal income tax to the British government running into millions of Pounds.

She also has 18,000 hectares of property, land and other assets in England and Wales. The income from the assets is called the Privy Purse and is used for the upkeep of the Queen’s private and official expenditure. In 2013, the profit from the Duchy was 19 million pounds.

Way back in 1760, King George III cut a deal with parliament to hand over the Crown Estate — a large portfolio of land and property now worth $15 billion, which includes most of the U.K.’s seabed, Regent Street in London and Buckingham Palace – to the Treasury.

As part of this deal, the Monarch is entitled to a share of the profits of the Crown Estate. The Queen now receives the Sovereign Grant from the Treasury, which consists of 15% of the profits from the Crown Estate. Last financial year she received $61 million, which goes to paying for royal travel, investitures, garden parties and the upkeep of official residences like Buckingham Palace.

Technically speaking, the British Government does not spend a penny from taxpayers money on the Queen.

The British Prime minister earns a salary of roughly 151,451 pounds annually, an equivalent of about 6m per month. The PM takes care of himself from the salaries including food except during state banquet where such bills are paid by the government.

The Nigerian president goes home with roughly 8m as salary. But President Buhari has slashed his salary by over 50% which brings down his take home to about 3m roughly. But that is not the end of the story.

The Nigerian president does not feed himself. Billions of Naira are budgeted for his food, drinks, clothes, electronics, furniture and cooking utensils. It is safe to say the salaries of a Nigerian leader is vague and unspecified. Only God knows how much is spent to maintain the president.

The Nigerian traditional rulers on the other hand gave zero wealth to states. The monies they squandered on luxurious lifestyles belong to LGs and State governments which by effect makes them lazy and economic parasites.

No need going into salaries of legislature at federal and state levels. We all know our bureaucracy is the costliest in the world with overhead that will never allow Nigeria grow.

Unless we reduce cost of governance and use the money for critical infrastructure, this nation will continue to run in circles.

By Aliyu Nuhu

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