Severance Pay in Nigeria: A Means to What End?

In many countries all over the world, political offices are synonymous with banks of wealth and riches. Nigeria is no different as political leaders are the highest-paid officials in the public sector. Apart from being paid humongous amounts of money as basic salaries, they are entitled to significant allowances. Despite being paid all these, they still get a certain amount of payment after the termination of their appointment called severance pay. This automatically means that holding a political position allows one to be paid for even up to a lifetime. It is then unquestionable as to why there is an unquenchable thirst for power among political leaders.

In the meantime, the government laments about not having enough funding at its disposal. The Nigerian budget is characterized by a peculiar imbalance of revenue and deficit. While the sources of government funding are few in relation to the expenditure, the government has still not learnt how to cut its coat to its cloth. It goes on with the execution of its plans and projects but along the line is left with no choice but to employ the use of external sources for funding primarily, through loans from other countries and various financial institutions. With a currently accumulated debt of about 77 trillion still waiting to be serviced, it is high time the Nigerian government started seeing things through a different lens.

When the present situation is critically examined, we would see that other alternative approaches can be utilized to circumvent most of these problems. Instead of borrowing to raise funds why not cut down on the expenses? The government needs to prioritize what is most important to its citizens before any other. Political leadership is meant to be a display of patriotic will with a commitment to nation-building and the betterment of the people. It is the avenue through which leaders are expected to play true selfless roles in the growth and development of the country. It is incongruous that political leaders be paid salaries and allowances, and then still be privileged to benefit from a lot of opportunities which the common citizen has no access to. The severance pay is thus an unnecessary burden to the government which should be scrapped.

The severance pay is an eye-opener to the level of mismanagement of public funds in Nigeria. Looking at the number of political offices and those occupying them, a lot of pertinent questions are posed as to how many of these ministries contribute a significant quota to the progress of the nation. Are all the ministries truly necessary? Can some of them be merged while others are completely eradicated? Providing answers and panaceas to these on a national scale would help to restructure the unsustainability of Nigerian political clime.

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