9th Assembly: Orji Kalu, Goje, Amosun, Others Set To Pocket N273.64bn

Four hundred and sixty  five members of the 9th National Assembly, including Senators Orji Kalu, Danjuma Goje and Ibikunle Amosun, would hav...

Four hundred and sixty  five members of the 9th National Assembly, including Senators Orji Kalu, Danjuma Goje and Ibikunle Amosun, would have received N273.64bn by the time their tenure ends in June 2023, should the current law on remuneration of political office holders and the tradition that held sway in the 8th National Assembly remain, an  analysis has shown.
This package excludes what the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan; his deputy, Ovie Omo-Agege; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; and his deputy, Ahmed Wase,  will get because their earnings as principal officers are calculated differently from what other members of the National Assembly get.

An analysis of  the statistics of  lawmakers’ earnings  carried out by our correspondents showed that each member of the Senate would get as much as N728.25m in emolument for the four years they would spend in the red chambers.

This will take the earnings of 107 senators, excluding the President of the Senate and  his deputy to N77.92bn in  four years.

On the other hand, each member of the House of Representatives will get as much as N546.7m in  four years. This means that 358 members (excluding the Speaker and Deputy Speaker) of the green chamber will get N195.72bn within the four-year tenure.

A  breakdown of a senators’ package shows that each of the lawmakers will get N648m from overhead payment at the rate of N162m per annum or N13.5m a month.

From salaries and regular allowances, a senator is entitled to N51, 065,280 in four years at the rate of N12, 766,320 per annum or N1, 063,860 a month.

The regular allowances are paid  lawmakers on a monthly basis along with their salaries. The regular allowances are calculated as percentage of the salaries and include motor vehicle maintenance and fuelling. This is pegged at 75 per cent of their monthly salary.

Others are personal assistant – 25 per cent; domestic staff – 75 per cent; entertainment – 30 per cent; utilities – 30 per cent; newspapers/periodicals – 15 per cent; wardrobe – 25 per cent; house maintenance – five per cent; constituency – 250 per cent.

The irregular allowances that senators are entitled to include accommodation, furniture, recess and severance. From accommodation which is paid once a year, a senator will get N16, 211,200 in four years at the rate of N4, 052,800 per annum.

The furniture allowance is paid once in tenure and is put at N6, 079,200. Recess allowance is paid once a year and from it a senator will get N810, 560 in four years at the rate of N202, 640 per annum. Severance allowance is paid at the successful completion of the tenure and for a senator; the amount is N6, 079,200.

A member of the House of Representatives, on the other hand, will get N480m from overhead payment at the rate of N120m per annum or N10m a month.

From salaries and regular allowances, a Rep is entitled to N38, 116,152.24 in four years at the rate of N9, 529,038.06 per annum or N794,086.83 a month.

From accommodation, a Rep is entitled to N15, 881,700 in four years at the rate of N3, 970,425 per annum. A Rep is entitled to a furniture allowance of N5, 955,637.5 once in four years and is also entitled to a similar amount as severance allowance on successful completion of tenure. For recess, a Rep is entitled to N794, 085 in four years at the rate of N198, 521.25 per annum.

Any lawmaker that desires can also get a loan to purchase a vehicle. For this, a senator is entitled to N8, 105,600 while each Rep is entitled to N7, 940,850.50. This, however, is not part of the summed package as the loan is supposed to be refunded by the end of the tenure.

There are other entitlements that they are not paid directly for but provided and paid for by the government. These are special assistants, security and legislative aides.

What this means is that those engaged in these capacities are paid directly by the government as the allowances cannot be claimed by political office holders. These allowances apply to senators and Reps.

Medical expenses are also borne by the government when they have need for such services.

The lawmakers are also entitled to tour duty allowance and estacode (when they travel abroad). For a senator, the tour duty allowance is N37, 000 per night and  estacode of $950 per night.

For a member of the House of Representatives, the tour duty allowance is N35, 000 per night and  estacode of $900 per night.

Theoretically, the package of an ordinary lawmaker is greater than what the principal officers (President of the Senate and Deputy President and Speaker of House of Representatives and Deputy Speaker) get.

This is because most of the allowances for which the lawmakers are paid, the principal officers do not get money for them but have the items fully provided by the state. Such services include accommodation, furniture, motor vehicle maintenance and newspapers.

It has also not been disclosed what the principal officers get as overhead payment as this package is outside the prescription of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission but a private arrangement between the lawmakers and the management of the National Assembly.

Although many Nigerians have described the salaries and allowances of lawmakers as outrageous, others think the problem is payment of overhead package to the lawmakers without prescription in the Remuneration Package for Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders 2007.

Returning Chairman of RMAFC, Mr Elias Mbam, had told one of our correspondents in the past that the management of the National Assembly should be held responsible for any payment to lawmakers outside the prescription of RMAFC.

Mbam said RMAFC had power to prescribe what political office holders should get but lacked the power to monitor what they get as each arm of government had bureaucracies that implement payment to public office holders concerned.

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