Nigeria’s law makers are six times more expensive to maintain than South Africa’s law makers, a comparative analysis of budget allocation in both countries has shown.
The figures are revealed in a yet to be published report “Budget 2013-Facts Behind the Figures” prepared by BusinessDay’s Research Unit (BRU).
It further reinforces the general perception that Nigeria’s cost of governance is on the high side and is unwieldy.
The report shows that the Assembly’s $995 million (N150 billion equivalent) allocation as proposed in the 2013 budget awaiting President Goodluck Jonathan’s assent, is approximately 6.4 times higher than the US$155 million (N24 billion) allocation made to the South African parliament its’ their 2012/2013 budget.
On a per capita (head) basis, the allocation to the National Assembly translates to approximately US$2 million (N312 million) budget spend on each of the 469 members (109 Senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives).
The N312 million budget spend per head for the Nigerian National Assembly is 6.4 times higher than the approximately N49 million (US$ 316,326 )per head incurred on the on 490 members (400 members of the House of Assembly and 90 members of the National Council of Provinces) of the South African parliament.
South Africa’s budget spend on its parliament is lower, despite the country’s US$113 billion equivalent 2012/2013 budget which is approximately 3.5 times higher than Nigeria’s US$32 billion equivalent 2013 budget, the BusinessDay Research Report shows.
The implication is that as a proportion of the total budget, the National Assembly consumes approximately 3.02 percent of Nigeria’s budget, compared to the 0.14 percent consumed by the South African parliament. Thus the Nigerian parliament budget consumption is 22 times higher than its South African counterpart, the BusinessDay Research report shows.
Nigerian Presidency is also more expensive, compared to South Africa’s Presidency. The report shows that Nigeria spends almost twice more money on its Presidency than does South Africa.
For the proposed 2013 budget, the allocation of N36 billion (US$ 228 million) to be consumed by the Nigerian Presidency is approximately twice the US$119 million (N19 billion) allocation to the Presidency in South Africa.
As a proportion of the budget, the allocation to the presidency in Nigeria is approximately 0.70 percent of Nigeria’s budget, compared to South Africa’s 0.11 percent of its budget, indicating that Nigeria’s Presidency’s consumes about seven times more of its national budget than South Africa’s presidency.
Both Nigeria and South Africa are top competitors for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Sub Sahara Africa but analysts have often warned that the cost of governance in Nigeria is unnecessarily high, and may be eating away at the critical expenditure on infrastructure. If this high cost of governance is not checked, they warn, it may affect Nigeria’s long term competitiveness.