Information Nigeria recalled a report by The Economist magazine which stated that a Nigerian legislator earned basic salary of $189,500 per annum (N30.6m) making them the highest paid lawmakers in the world.
But Mbam said the claim was outrageous and totally false.
Again, going by the report, the basic salary (which excludes allowances) of a Nigerian lawmaker was put at 116 times the country’s GDP per person of $1,600.
The magazine further alleged that the $189,500 earned annually by each Nigerian legislator was estimated to be 52 per cent higher than what Kenyan legislators earned.
Kenyan legislators are the second highest paid lawmakers in the world.
Mbam, however, in his reaction, said “This is an area that many Nigerians need to be properly informed about because I read the other day that their salaries were about N35 million.
“Certainly that is not from here. There is no senator after all deduction that takes home more than one million a month as salary. And if you compare it with what is obtainable elsewhere, you find out that one will not consider that too big.
“Look at how much a Permanent Secretary is paid, how much are chief executives, CBN governor are paid, and how much other establishments, even school professors are paid and then compare with what obtains in other countries,
“The problem is that most of the reports we receive particularly in news prints say that they are paid much more than that.
“And I have said repeatedly that if they receive more than what is approved by the Act, then the chief accounting officer should be held accountable, because the law is clear.”
On the proposed life pension payment to principal officers of the National Assembly, namely: the Senate President and his deputy, as well as the Speaker of the House of Representatives and his deputy, Mbam said the legality of it rested with the National Assembly.
He said, “The legality of it lies in the hands of the National Assembly. If the National Assembly makes it a law, then it is so, but if they do not, then it is illegal for any of them to be put on such.
“I can only challenge the law if I feel otherwise, but if it is not provided for by the law, then we can say that it is illegal.”
The commission is mandated by the Nigeria constitution, to determine remuneration appropriate to political office holders including the President, Vice President, Governors, legislators and others. (NAN)