– The President Muhammadu Buhari’s “change begins with me” has been marred with series of scandal
– The latest is the act of plagiarism committed by the president’s speech writer in the speech read by the President Buhari at the launch of the campaign
– A report by the Economic confidential shows how much the president’s speech writer earns
President Muhammadu Buhari
On Thursday, September 8, Nigerians witnessed the launch of a new campaign by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration. The new campaign, “Change begins with me”, the president said is aimed at imbibing in all Nigerians a positive attitude and behavioural change. The president also said the new campaign was focused on re-orienting Nigerians towards a positive lifestyle, free of corruption.
However, a few days to the launch of the Change begins with me campaign, the presidency was smeared with an allegation of plagiarism of the speech delivered by President Buhari during the launch. Evidence showed the president’s speech was lifted from a 2008 victory speech given by the United States of America’s president Barack Obama.
While president Buhari has confirmed the similarities between Obama’s speech and his September 8 speech, he has also blamed his speech writer for such criminal act The president through his spokesperson Garba Shehu promised to punish whoever committed the blunder once investigation is concluded on the matter.
However, a report, a current remuneration package of public and political office holders in Nigeria, fixed by Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and put together by the Economic Confidential, a financial magazine, shows that the official annual salary of a federal executive speech writer is N1,942,875.
The speech writer is also entitled to N1,457,156.25, vehicle maintenance, N485,718.75 for his personal assistant, N1,457,156.25 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, 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 put the speech writer on the same scale with the president and vice president’s special advisers.