Having voted for change, members of the Nigerian National Assembly are expected to be sensitive enough to know that with the dwindling economy they have to sacrifice some of their bogus allowances for the common good of the country
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari and members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, may like to start their plans for change from the National Assembly. In an era where there so much unpaid salaries, especially in the states, they may actually want to plug the hole from the NASS, which takes more than 25 percent of the nation’s revenue.
The publication of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission in The Daily Trust of August 2013 edition announced the salaries and allowances of the National Assembly members and ministers, saying it was announced to avoid misinformation and misrepresentation of facts in media reports.
According to the RMAFC estimates, lawmakers’ allowances include accommodation (Senator N4m, Rep N3.97m), vehicle loan (Senator N8m, Rep N7.94m), furniture (Senator N6m, Rep N5.956m) and severance gratuity (Senator N6.09m, Rep N5.956m), which are due once in four years. It should be noted that accommodation allowance is paid yearly while furniture, severance and car loan are paid once in four years, the commission said.
Annual allowances are motor vehicle fuelling and maintenance (Senator N1.52m, Rep N1.489m), constituency (Senator N5m, Rep N1.985m), domestic staff (Senator N1.519m, Rep N1.488m), personal assistant (Senator N506,600; Rep N496,303), entertainment (Senator N607,920, Rep N595,563), recess (Senator N202,640; Rep N198,521), utilities (Senator N607,920; Rep N397,042), newspaper/periodicals (Senator N303,960; Rep N297,781), house maintenance (Senator N101,320; Rep N99,260) and wardrobe (Senator N506,600; Rep N496,303).
Other allowances are estacode (Senator $950, Rep $900) and duty tour allowance (Senator N37,000; Rep N35,000).
The commission said: “Regular allowances are paid regularly with basic salaries while non-regular allowances are paid as at when due. For instance, furniture allowance andeverance 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.”
However, the RMAFC warned that any other allowances received by the affected officials are illegal and the chief accounting officer should be held responsible. According to RMAFC: “The commission also wishes to use this opportunity to state that any other allowance(s) enjoyed by any political, public office holders outside those provided in the Remuneration Act of 2008 is not known to the commission and the chief accounting officer should be held accountable”.
A newspaper publication quoted a source that with a national minimum wage of N18,000.00 per month and totalling N216,000.00 per annum, it would take the average Nigerian worker, 60 years and 44 years to earn the annual salary and allowances of a Nigerian senator and member of the House of Representatives respectively. It states: “This cannot be right and something urgent has to be done to slash the salaries and allowances of the members of the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly”.
— Jun 18, 2015 @ 11:30 GMT