The plagiarism scandal dogging President Muhammadu Buhari for copying parts of US President Barack Obama’s 2008 victory speech in his recent “Change Begins With Me” speech took another dimension yesterday following discovery that the speech writer earns as much as president and vice president’s special advisers.
The speech writer’s official annual salary is N1.9 million, according to the current remuneration package of public and political office holders in Nigeria, fixed by Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
That finding was made by Economic Confidential, a financial magazine.
The speech writer is also entitled to N1.5 million, vehicle maintenance; N485,718.75 for his personal assistant; N1.5 million for domestic staff and N874,293.75 for entertainment.
He or she will also receive N582,862.50 as allowance for utilities and N291,431.25 as newspaper allowance, totalling N7,091,493.75.
A breakdown of the speech writer’s annual emolument would imply N590,957.81 as official monthly take home pay.
In addition, the speech writer may also receive a non-regular allowance for accommodation which is 200% of his or her basic salary; N3,885,750.
He may also receive furniture allowance of N5,828,625; an annual leave allowance – 10% of his basic salary – which is N194,287.50; a severance gratuity of N5,828,625 (at the expiration of his or her tenure) and an optional vehicle loan of N7,771,500.
In the case of any official travel, the president’s speech writer receives N25,000 and $800 per night for local and for foreign trips respectively.
This salary and allowance structure puts the speech writer on the same scale with the president and vice president’s special advisers.