• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
businessday logo


How long it takes a security officer to own $500,000 Dubai home

How long it takes a security officer to own $500,000 Dubai home

Nigerians are asking questions as to how a security officer or civil servant can afford to own a $500,000 real estate asset in Dubai, the commercial hub of the United Arab Emirates.

The questions have arisen from BusinessDay’s exclusive story on Monday, which revealed that Nigerian politicians, civil servants and security officers and their family members own nearly $1 billion properties in Dubai.

The report had said that politically exposed persons (PEPs), their family members, including top civil servants, have acquired 1,600 properties in choice locations in Dubai.

BusinessDay dug into official records to answer some of the questions that have agitated the minds of readers.

Read also: LIST: 200 Nigerian politicians, security officers own $1bn properties in Dubai

For the Nigeria Police Force, the 2022 Consolidated Police Salary Structure (CONPOSS) shows that the monthly wage of the inspector-general of police (IGP) is N1.987 million ($1,334). This is annualised as N23.85 million ($16,005).

For an IGP to acquire a home that costs $500,000, he will need to save his entire salary for 31.2 years and must remain on the same wage within the period.

However, Nigerians do not save all their incomes. An August 2023 data compiled by Picodi, an international e-commerce organisation, said that Nigerians spend 59 percent of their incomes on food alone.

Secondly, the police force operate a promotion-based system, meaning that no officer can remain on the same salary or position for 31 years. The maximum number of years spent in the police force is 35.

For a mid-level deputy superintendent of police whose annual salary is N3.62 million ($2,429) annually, he will need to spend 206 years to be able to afford a $500,000 property in Dubai.

For the military, the structure is different. A private soldier, entitled to N600,000 annually ($403), will need to spend 1,240 years to be able to afford a $500,000 home in Dubai.

For a general who earns N18 million annually ($12,080), he may need to spend 41 years before saving up money for a $500,000 property in Dubai.

Nevertheless, military and police officers told BusinessDay that there are other legitimate ways of making money in the force.

“For instance, if you are on a mission for the United Nations or the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), you will be on allowances,” a senior military officer (a major) told BusinessDay.

“However, the money is often around $100 a month,” he revealed.

He said the only way a soldier can earn $1000 a month is if he is a military observer.

Read also: Dubai’s new airport to transport 260m passengers yearly

“If you are a military observer, you can earn $1000 or above,” he added.

He, however, noted that the $100 per month is not cast in stone as the amount depends mostly on the country a soldier is being sent to.

“Each country has its own allowances. However, the money is often not high,” he added.

An assistant commissioner of police also told BusinessDay that it would be impossible for any office to earn as much as $2000 except he is on a special mission.

For the civil service, most directors earn between N454,000 and N500,000, annualised as N6 million ($4,026) maximum. This means a director may need to spend 124 years before being able to afford a $500,000 property in Dubai.

“But it differs from agency to agency,” said Ike Ibe, an Abuja-based economist, who has worked with at least five ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

“Revenue-generating agencies pay more and the staff also have a way of getting more money,” he said.

“However, this shows the level of corruption in the system. When you go to Abuja, you may find some directors owning estates,” he added.