At a time Nigerians are groaning under the yoke of recession, Members of the National Assembly (NASS) comprising the Senators and Members of House of Representatives have received a total of N6.78 billion as their official salaries and allowances in one year, investigation by Economic Confidential has revealed.
The report obtained by Economic intelligence magazine showed the ‘legitimate’ remuneration of the federal legislators in compliance to the statutory approval of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC. The remuneration packages include annual salaries, accommodation, vehicle maintenance and fuel, Personal Assistants, House maintenance, domestic staff, entertainment and utilities allowances. Others allowances are, constituency allowance, annual Leave, hardship allowance, wardrobe, newspapers and responsibility allowances.
A careful scrutiny of the report shows that each senator has annual salary of N2.02 million while a member of House of Representative receives N1.98 million as annual basic salary. The basic salary of the Senate President is N2.48 million while that of the Speaker of House of Rep is N2.47 million. The Deputy Senate President has N2.30 million as annual basic salary while his counterpart, Deputy Speaker earns N2.28 $million annually.
In addition to the annual basic salary, each member of the National Assembly receives 200 per cent of the annual salary for accommodation, 75 per cent for vehicle maintenance, 25 per cent for Personal Assistants, 5 per cent for house maintenance, 75 per cent for domestic staff, 30 per cent for both entertainment and utilities. Others are, 25 per cent for wardrobe, 15 per cent for newspapers and responsibility allowance of between 10, 7, and 5 per cent respectively as the case may be on the position of the legislator. While each senator receives a whopping 250 per cent for constituency allowance, member of House of Representative gets 100 per cent for the same annually.
In all, the senate alone numbering 109 senators gulped N1.85 billion in the last one year, while the 360 members of the House of Representatives got N4.93 billion!
According to estimates from the report, there are non-regular allowances federal legislators are entitled to. They include furniture and severance gratuity which are due only once in four years. Other non-regular allowances include Estacode allowances which is paid in US Dollars for foreign trips and Duty Tour allowance which is paid in Naira for local trips within Nigeria.
Further analysis by Economic Confidential reveals that an average Nigerian worker with a minimum wage of N18,000 a month will have to work for four years before earning the utility allowance for one legislator. Unless the remuneration package is reviewed downward or upward by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, the legislators will continue to enjoy the current official salaries and allowances.