The National Assembly has reacted to an analysis published by the Economist magazine that Nigeria’s federal legislators receive jumbo salaries higher than their counterparts in wealthier countries and key developing nations, saying the report is not only incorrect but an exaggeration.
According to the publication which was posted on the magazine’s website on Friday, Nigerian legislator receives an annual salary of about $189,000, equivalent of N30 million, which is 116 times the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) per person.
This figure is surpassed only by Australian lawmakers, who receive $201,200 annual salary which is only three 3 times their country’s GDP per person.
The magazine further put salaries collected by Nigerian senators and members of the House of Representatives way ahead of those received by fellow parliamentarians in the 29 countries it analysed.
In terms of volume of cash earnings, the Nigerian legislators were several thousands of dollars ahead of their counterparts in Britain who take $105,400 yearly, as well as those in the United States ($174,000), France ($85,900), South Africa ($104,000), Kenya ($74,500), Saudi Arabia ($64,000) and Brazil ($157,600).
However, when looked at in terms of ratio of GDP per capita, the gap is even much wider because while the Nigerian lawmaker’s salary is 116 times the country’s GDP per person, that of his British counterpart is just 2.7 times.
This made the magazine report that Britain’s legislators pay is “relatively parsimonious” when compared with that of their counterparts in poorer countries, including Nigeria, who “enjoy the heftiest salaries by this measure.”
But in their separate reactions to the report published in The Economist magazine on Monday, the spokespersons of the two chambers of the National Assembly described it as grossly exaggerated.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Information and Media, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, said the report was misleading and incorrect.
According to him, “My reaction is that the report is incorrect. It is very easy for anybody to know what we earn by going to the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
“The report is not correct because it did not emanate from the RMAFC, because that is the only body that determines what a lawmaker earns.”
Speaking in the line, spokesman of the House of Representatives, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, dismissed the report as incorrect.
“Whatever is being written is mere exaggeration and does not reflect what is accurate. They fail to realise that what we take as salaries are different from what we use in running our offices”, Rep. Mohammed said.
“These are two different issues. Most times, people just lump everything together and claim that it is our monthly salary; that is not correct. At the appropriate time, we shall react, because it is not just about the House but the National Assembly. The National Assembly will react at the right time” he added.