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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Letter from Africa: Cutting Nigeria's 'big men' down to size

In our series of letter from African journalists, novelist and writer Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani looks at the impact of new economising measures in Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to office in May, seems bent on making public office less and less attractive to the average Nigerian "big man".
Beyond the unusually austere salary package for new members of his cabinet - in response to the country's worst economic crisis in years - he has given an instruction that should drastically reduce the size of every serving minister's entourage.
Few Nigerian big men walk alone: Such a typical highly esteemed and self-important person in Africa's most populous country goes around accompanied by a multitude of men.
They follow him to weddings and funerals and birthdays and book launches; they follow him to weddings and funerals and birthdays and book launches; they stand when he stands, sit when he sits, and depart when he departs.
In return, he takes care of their needs.