NIGERIA: Emir Sanusi is partially correct but commonsense does not justify governors in poor and rich states getting equal pays & remunerations – A. Tao

March 13, 2016


Emir Sanusi has opened the door to common sense in a community too often guided by the crass obtuseness in private and public circumstances. He is however a long way from it as he too cannot see that it is not the number of offices or multiplication of office bearers that stand alone in the way of commonsense in governance.

While we must show concern for the volume and value of outgoings on these under-performing liabilities parading as assets, it is time we considered recontextualising public finance, and ask why the Governor and other public servants in Osun and Nasarawa, to start from the low end, are earning, and can command allowances at the same level as their equivalents in Lagos and Kano?

Does the mayor of New York earn the same salary as the mayor of Gary, Indiana, or does the governor of California earn the same as his Arkansas counterpart? Our comparisons with the USA are never in good things are they?

This is where commonsense deserted Nigeria but did it start from the military era?

The Premiers and Governors and civil servants of the colonial period ran the same salary scales, if I am correctly informed. It’s a labels and content issue. While the institutional heads can, within a constitutional arrangement, carry similar titles, there is no basis in commonsense for paying the same remuneration for different job loads .

The chief executive officer of a small family business with a turnover of less than ten million a year is a Managing Director; so is the CEO of Guinness Nig Ltd with a multi billion naira turnover but would it occur to anyone to consider equal pay for unequal burden and effort, and indeed, returns to effort in the two communities?

In good governance and management, rewards are usually, and should be tied to effort and returns to it. In that here’s commonsense.

The contrivance for stealing other peoples’ money for federal purposes called the federal account facilitated this but does not necessarily justify it. If the funds flowing into the Federal Account were tied to development, or the Governors of Osun orNassarawa, for example, rather than spend the states’ allocations on remuneration and allowances were compelled to limit these to what Osun/Nassarawa GDPs can deliver ,there would be a lot more money going to developmental activities.

If those who wrote the constitution were not unthinking modern day Africans, they would have made a point of protecting the public interests instead of padding the wallets of office holders insensitively and unwisely as to lead us all into moral and material bankruptcy.

Emir Sanusi has joined those who think it is the plethora of political personnel and apparatchiks that is ruining us. No, dear Emir, it is in part, the poor commonsense of letting them all take the same pay home, regardless of each state’s GDP or resource capacity.

Commonsense ? The search continues in Nigeria.



SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2016. 3: 50 a.m. [GMT]


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7 Comments on “NIGERIA: Emir Sanusi is partially correct but commonsense does not justify governors in poor and rich states getting equal pays & remunerations – A. Tao”

  1. folakemiodoaje Says:

    I love this!

    For some reason it has never occurred to me that our governors are on the same pay scale – are they really? Lagos state must be on higher pay scale than Osun for sure or perhaps differs in allowances?

    There are just too many layers of pure … (hard to swallow what comes to mind) going on in this country. However, I believe that it is our job to flesh this out if only to show to the people reasons we are still sinking 50 years on.

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Thanks, Folakemi.

      As mentioned in my comments to Mr. Muyiwa’s, I really do not believe we can or should expect a governor to change remuneration in the books for his office, but having said that, I know there are ways that governors, especially of poor states, can adjust their administrations to confront challenging financial situations.

      I believe structural adjustments to the whole system as suggested by Emir SanusAND Mr. Tao’s suggestions in his follow-up essay are what we need in these times because mistakes of the past must not be allowed to continue as they’ve led to unsustainable situations, especially in poor states.

      Another restructuring – senators, house of reps members, states’ assembly reps, etcetera – not to mention those aspiring to be governors, would, perhaps, want me locked up for blasphemy – would be to cancel the state-structure which has proved too expensive and ruinous to Nigeria’s financial health. A six governing units – along the so-called Zones would be cheaper to govern the country and would save billions and billions IN FOREIGN CURRENCIES that are being expended on the huge lists of politicians at all levels.

      The problem, in my opinion goes beyond what a few governor can achieve by cutting their perks.

      Sincere regards,

      Liked by 1 person


      • folakemiodoaje Says:

        Good points. I don’t think any of our state or federal executives would deliberately take on role of adjusting their pay scale. I think it has to be done by independent bodies either paid or pro bono to take closer look capturing all the hidden allowances and they play it back to them so they can see why we continue to run deficits. And then make recommendations – that would be fantastic then we probably would only have those who want and capable to serve running public offices.


      • emotan77 Says:

        Thanks, Dear Folakemi.

        I’m no economist and so are millions of Nigerians who get hampered by the wastefulness of Nigeria’s resources on just top government officials and politicians but who all know one thing: a major SOMETHING – call it restructuring or whatever – needs to be urgently made to reverse the country’s fortune from which an across-the-board sigificant difference would be felt.


        Liked by 1 person

  2. Adedapo Muyiwa Says:

    Instead of pruning his salary, the governor of my state,Osun has failed to appoint commissioners in the last one year. So how can a state be running without Attorney General for more than a year? I believe govs’ entitlements should be addressed in poor states.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Mr. Muyiwa,

      Thanks for this.

      I do not know if governors can prune their own salaries. I think what the Emir is calling for, and what Mr. Tao has recommended are what would, perhaps, be best addressed constitutionally although a State House of Assembly may be able to play a role in having their states adjust to the reality of sparsity of revenues.


      Liked by 1 person


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