Yahaya Bello, the governor of Kogi State, has expended the sum of N22.5m on purchase of nomination and expression of interest forms of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the state’s governorship primary slated for August 29, 2019.
Details revealed that the sum is almost equivalent to the three-year salary and allowances of a governor which is N23.3m.
The PUNCH reports that the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission shows that a governor’s basic salary is N185, 308.75 while he is entitled to a hardship allowance of N92, 654.37 and a consistency allowance of N370, 617.50 bringing the total monthly package to N648, 580.62 or N7.7m a year.
The total salary and allowances earned by a governor in three years is N23.3m.
The newspaper pointed that Kogi State is reported to be the most affected in the country as regards unpaid salaries and pensions.
The National Union of Local Government Employees had also named Kogi as the biggest defaulter of unpaid salaries and pensions while the Nigeria Labour Congress claims the state owes between eight to 38 months of unpaid salaries and pensions, a claim the state government has denied.
The high cost of nomination and expression of interest forms by the two main parties in the country, the – APC and the Peoples Democratic Party – has been a source of controversy in recent time.
The APC had pegged the price of its Presidential forms at N45m last year.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who lamented the high cost of the forms, claimed that a group, Nigeria Consolidation Ambassadors Network, bought them for him.
The PDP’s Presidential forms, however, were much lower than those of the APC.
APC governors who bought the forms at N22.5m last year include: Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State; his Katsina State counterpart, Bello Masari; Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje; and Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State.
Others include: Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State; his Niger State counterpart, San Bello; Jigawa State Governor, Mohammed Badaru; and Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State and Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa State who both failed to get re-elected.