The Official Jumbo Pay of Federal Lawmakers
Bright Ewulu with reports from The Authority
The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission(RMAFC) Acting Secretary, Usman I. Garndawa, has said that the details of the National Assembly remuneration packages were provided “to avoid misinformation and misrepresentation of facts.”
RMAFC said that allowances acrueable to federal lawmakers include: accommodation, which gave each senator N4 million while each member of the House of Representatives gets N3.97 million; vehicle loan of N8 million for each senator and N7.94 for each member of House of Representatives; furniture allowance of N6 million for each senator and N5.955 for each House member and severance gratuity of N6.09 million for each senator and N5.955 million for each House of Representatives member.
Whether a lawmaker returns or not, he collects the severance allowance at the end of every four years.Vehicle loan and severance gratuities are paid only once in four years, while accommodation allowance are paid once every year.
Other annual allowances, according to the RMAFC release include: motor vehicle fuelling and maintenance of N1.52 million for senators and N1.489 million for members of House of Representatives; and domestic allowance of N1.519 million for each senator and N1.488 million for each House member.
RMAFC disclosed that federal lawmakers also earn allowances for personal assistants, with each senator taking home N506,600 while each member of the House of Representatives earn N496,303; for entertainment, it is N607,920, and N595,563 for each senator and member of the House of Representatives respectively and recess allowance for senators and members of the House of Representatives stood at N202,640 and N198,521 respectively.
Other allowances include: N607,920 and N397,042 for senators and House members respectively for utilities; newspaper/periodicals allowance for each senator is N303,960, while each House member gets N297,781; senators earn N101,320 each for house maintenance, while their counterparts in the House get N99,260 each; while wardrobe allowance for senators is N506,600 and N496,303 for members of the House of Representatives.
Also, senators earn basic salaries of N2,026,400 annually, amounting to N168,866.70 per month while each member of the House goes home with N 1,985,212.50 annually and N165,434.40 per month.
Apart from the above, the lawmakers get constituency allowance of N5.066 million and N1.985 million for senators and House members respectively, which is paid to them monthly .Reports say only a few of them use the constituency allowance for what it was originally meant for – provision of certain identified projects for their constituents. Many of them allegedly collect the constituency allowance and pocket same.
The Senate President gets paid N50,000 duty tour allowance and $1,300 estacode, the House Speaker receives N45,000 and $1,200 for duty tour allowance and estacode respectively, just as they also both get severance gratuity of N7.452 and N7.431 million respectively and vehicle loan of N9.936 million and N9.908 million respectively.
The Deputy Senate President also gets a basic salary of N2.309 million, constituency allowance of N5.772 million, severance gratuity of N6.927 million and vehicle loan of N9.236 million, even as he gets N42,000 for duty tour allowance and $1,100 as estacode.
Note that all federal lawmakers get 10 per cent of their basic salaries as recess allowance, which is however paid once every year. They are also alleged to collect as sitting allowance at committee levels N20,000 per sitting. Thus, a lawmaker who belongs to as many as four or five committees could be raking in between N80,000 and N100,000 within one week, if all the committees he belongs to sit within the week! Other allowances not specified by the RMAFC include medical, responsibility and security.
According to Garndawa : “Regular allowances are paid regularly with basic salaries while non-regular allowances are paid as at when due. For instance, furniture allowance and severance gratuity are paid once in every tenure and vehicle allowance, which is optional, is a loan which the beneficiary has to pay before the end of tenure.
“It is therefore wrong and misleading to add up allowances, irrespective of whether they are regular, refundable or non-regular as the regular annual emoluments of political public office holders.”
Comrade Tosin Adeyanju opined : “In terms of lawmakers’ salary as ratio GDP per capital, the gap is even wider. While salaries of Nigerian lawmakers are 116 times the country’s GDP per person, that of the British parliament member is just 2.7 times.