A new investigation by The Punch has revealed that members of the National Assembly receive far more in allowances than previously reported.
Recently the news that each senator receives N506,600 per annum as wardrobe allowance shocked Nigerians. However, an investigation on Monday showed that senators’ allowances amounted to N18,642,880 annually.
In all, the payment each senator receives for allowances is nine times his yearly wage, which is fixed at N2,026,400.
Each member of the National Assembly is entitled to 19 different allowances.
The document which it lists all allowances is the Remuneration Package for Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders.
The allowances are described under the following categories: vehicle maintenance and fuelling, domestic staff, entertainment, utilities, personal assistant, constituency, wardrobe, house maintenance, newspapers, recess, accommodation, furniture, severance, tour duty, special assistant, security, legislative aide and medical.
On a yearly basis, the 107 senators receive N1,994,788,160 in allowances.
The Senate president and deputy president receive less in allowances because most of their needs are fully provided for by the state.
For members of the House, the annual payments are about eight times bigger than their annual salaries.
While the annual salary of a House member is about N1,985,212.50, the annual allowances add up to N15,286,135.25.
This means that the 358 members of the House (without the speaker and the deputy speaker) receive N5,472,436,419.5 every year.
The allowances are categorised as regular or irregular; that is, paid monthly or paid at other intervals, from annually to every four years.
There are also other allowances not included in this calculation that are paid not at any fixed periods but as many times as they happen in the year.
Basically, both senators and House members are paid the same proportions of their salaries as allowances, excluding the constituency allowance where senators are paid 250 % while Reps get 100 % of their yearly salaries.
Vehicle maintenance and fuelling allowance is 75 %; domestic staff, 75 %; entertainment, 30 %; utilities, 30 %; wardrobe, 25 %; newspapers, 15 %; house maintenance, 5 %; and personal aides, 25 %.
Consequently for a senator the vehicle maintenance and fuelling allowance adds up to N1,519,800; domestic staff, N1,519,800; entertainment, N607,920; utilities, N607,920; wardrobe, N506,600; newspapers, N303,960; house maintenance, N101,320; constituency, N5,066,000; personal assistant, N506,600.
For a member of the House of Representatives, the vehicle maintenance and fuelling allowance moves toward N1,488,909.40; domestic staff, N1,488,909.40; entertainment, N595,563.75; utilities, 595,563.75; wardrobe, N496,303.12; newspapers, N303,960; house maintenance, N99,260.62; constituency, N1,985,212.50; and personal aide, N496,303.12.
The irregular allowances include housing allowance, 200% of the Reps annual salaries; furniture allowance, 300%; recess allowance, 10% and severance allowance, 300%.
Housing allowance is paid once a year. Furniture allowance is paid once in four years and recess allowance the lawmakers get on recess and they go on recess four times in a year. Severance allowance is at the end of the four-year tenure.
The housing allowance of a senator is N4,053,800. The furniture allowance is N6,079,200. On annualized basis, the furniture allowance is N1,519,800. The recess allowance comes to N810,560 if they go on recess four times a year. The severance allowance is N6,079,200. On annual basis, it comes down to N1,519,800.
For Reps, the housing allowance is N3,970,425. The furniture allowance is N5,955,637.50. Annually, the furniture allowance comes down to N1, 488,909.38. Also, recess allowance comes to N794, 084. The severance allowance is N5,955,637.50. On an annual basis, it comes to N1,488,909.38.
There are other allowances that the legislators are not paid directly but given and paid for by the government.
The legislators are also provided with tour duty allowance and estacode whenever they travel out of Nigeria. For a senator, the tour duty allowance is N37,000 per night while the estacode is $950 per night.