Leadership (Abuja)

4 February 2013

Nigeria: I Earn N25,000 Daily Allowance - Sanusi

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has revealed that he earns N25, 000 per night as incidental allowance on his trips within the country.

He said this in response to the request by a Lagos based lawyer, Bamidele Aturu, for details of his remuneration and expenditures in accordance with the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2011. He however failed to disclose his allowances for foreign trips as well as his full remuneration as he insisted that they were as approved by the Presidency.

But in a swift reaction, Aturu said that he was not satisfied with the CBN Governor's replies, and insisted that he must reveal the full details of his earnings and allowances.

The lawyer noted that he planned to do a follow up on the request as it appeared that the CBN had misunderstood some of the questions.

Nonetheless, he commended the Governor for his response and said that it would encourage other public institutions to conduct their affairs transparently.

"We are impressed that the Governor is entitled to only N25, 000 as daily allowance when he travels within Nigeria. That is not excessive at all by Nigerian public officials' standards and given his lofty position. However, it is a little troubling that while the Bank was willing to state the local daily allowance it refused to state what the Governor earns when he travels outside the country.

Aturu, in a letter dated December 31, 2001 had requested that the CBN Governor provide information concerning recurrent expenditures for him and his office pursuant to Sections 1, 3 and 4 of the FOI Act 2011.

Sanusi who responded through the CBN Legal Adviser/Director, Legal Services Department S. M. Onekutu said that, "The Governor's remuneration is as stipulated by the Board and approved by Mr President in accordance with Section 8(3) of the CBN Act.

"Besides the governor's emolument and indeed the emolument structure of the CBN is benchmarked against the banking industry as approved in the federal government's white paper on the presidential committee on consolidation of emoluments in the Public Service.

"However, we are unable to release the details of the Governor's salary and allowances as that information is already a subject of litigation in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1016/2011: Uzoegwu F. O. C Vs CBN & HAGF. The matter is on appeal and it will be prejudicial to comment on it."

Other requests bordered on allowances on foreign trips, whether the CBN owned aircraft, what classes of flight the governor travelled in when on official trips within and outside the country, how many cleaners, drivers are attached to the governor's office and residence as well as how much imprest he collects monthly among others.

Onekutu disclosed that the governor travels Business Class within the country and First Class outside Nigeria and added that Sanusi had occasionally used chartered planes to travel within and outside the country as dictated by exigencies.

On how many drivers are attached to Sanusi's office and home he said "the governor's official drivers are drawn from the pool of drivers in the Governor's Department, and are sourced from the pool of drivers in the Governor's Office Department on need basis. On number of cleaners, he said "the Bank (CBN), as a matter of policy does not employ cleaners, therefore, there are no cleaners attached to his office or home.

On monthly imprest he said "No monthly imprest is maintained by the Governor" Onekutu said and maintained that the Governor's entitlement for foreign trips is as approved by the Federal Government.

"We still expect the Governor to answer the question as he is in a position to know exactly what he earns and if he does not know he could have simply said so.

"We agree with the Bank that the time frame we gave, as required by law, was insufficient to calculate or sum up the amount spent on chartered flights within and outside Nigeria. To this end, we shall be doing a follow up and although we are required to give seven days, we promise the bank not to sue immediately until about 28 days after the follow up to give the bank added tome to add up the figures," Aturu stated.

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