President Buhari reportedly turned down N20 million housing allowance for ministers

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At least seven ministers may soon leave President Muhammadu Buhari cabinet because of the severe position of the incumbent government.

The affected ministers are reportedly not satisfied with the N4 million approved by President Buhari as their yearly accommodation allowance as they have not been able to rent any meaningful house in Abuja.

One of the political aides to the ministers noted that the austerity was becoming so unbearable that most Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) have been made to cut down on their continual expenditure such as local travels and the purchase of newspapers for the different units in the headquarters of the ministry.

He said: “Do you know that we no longer buy ‘plenty” of newspapers as before? We just buy a few copies which are sent to the minister’s office. It is after he has finished reading, that the papers would be sent to other offices.

“Also , we no longer travel with Oga on some of these trips because there is no money . These days , if he is travelling, he goes with just a few persons , mainly security and protocol officials. It is from these guys that we get to know where they are and what is happening at any point in time .”

According to another source, the ministers demanded a N20 million grant each to enable them settle down in Abuja.

However, this request was turned down by President Buhari who saw the amount as ‘unreasonably high’ in view of the state of the economy.

Therefore, a number of the ministers have been “technically stranded” on the issue of accommodation.

“One of the ministers who once served as a Commissioner in one of the SouthWest states has been squatting in one of the mansions belonging to his political godfather and chieftain of the ruling party”, the source added.

ThisDay carried out a survey, that showed that a four to five-bedroom detached house in Wuse II, Abuja, goes for anywhere between N8 million to N10 million per year.

The price is almost the same in Gwarinpa Phase 1 and Utako, Abuja, while a four-bedroom detached house in Maitama or Asokoro goes for between N10 million and N15 million per year.

There were reports that one of the serving ministers is probed by the anti-corruption agency.

President Buhari’s newly-appointed ministers were said to earn same remuneration as those of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan.

The incumbent government many times restated its commitment to cut the cost of governance.

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