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N8.64bn is for miscellaneous expenses not wardrobe allowance

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Members of the newly inaugurated National Assembly will be paid miscellaneous or regular allowances totalling N8.64 billion next week, and not only their wardrobe allowance.

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This clarification is coming on the heels of a report by THISDAY and another newspaper on Tuesday that the entire N8.64 billion was meant for the legislators’ wardrobe allowance.

The sum will cover other allowances such as motor vehicle fuelling and maintenance, wardrobe, domestic staff, personal assistant, constituency office, house maintenance, utilities and entertainment, among other perks, for the entire 469 lawmakers in the National Assembly.

Speaking with THISDAY, Senator Ajayi Borrofice (Ondo North) said it was wrong to assume that the N8.64 billion was for lawmakers’ wardrobe, noting that wardrobe allowance was the most insignificant part of lawmakers’ earnings.

He further explained that the money would include the cost of securing and equipping constituency offices in various local government areas which make up their constituencies.

The lawmaker also said the sum would entail monies being used by lawmakers to organise town hall meetings in their various constituencies.

Borrofice also disclosed that it was wrong to assume that monies being paid as allowances to lawmakers were given for free, saying such allowances are deducted in tranches from their salaries.   

While the miscellaneous allowances, just like the furniture and vehicle allowances, are paid upfront the entire four-year tenure of the 469 federal lawmakers, the housing allowance, on the other hand, is paid on a yearly basis.

The housing allowance for political office holders is usually 200 per cent of their annual salaries while furniture allowance is 300 per cent of annual salaries as against motor vehicle loan which is 400 per cent.

On the other hand, each of the 107 senators, besides the Senate President,  will be paid N4,052,800 as housing allowance. This sum will be paid to them every year. One senator is dead.

This will translate to a total of N433,649,600 as housing allowance to be paid to the Senate annually while both the Senate President and the Deputy Senate President will be provided accommodation by the federal government.

On the other hand, each member of the House of Representatives will be paid N3 970,425 as housing allowance upon assumption of office.

This implies that the current 358 representatives aside the speaker, will collect a total of N1,421,412,150 as housing allowance. Like the case of the Senate, the speaker and deputy speaker will be excluded from housing allowance as the federal government will also provide their own accommodation. One House member also died.

Following monetisation of entitlements of public officials, the lawmakers lost the right to occupy houses built and maintained by the government.

Therefore, the federal government sold the houses previously occupied by the lawmakers to them.

The principal officers of the previous National Assembly benefited from the sale of the houses.

Hence, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is currently building new ones for the four presiding officers of both chambers.

On furniture allowance, each of the senators will take away N6, 079,200 from the national treasury while the furniture for both the Senate president and his deputy will be fully provided by the government.

The total sum to be earned by 107 senators as furniture allowance will be N650  474,400. Furniture allowance is paid once in four years.

In the House of Representatives, each member will be paid N5, 955,637.50 as furniture allowance. This means that 358 representatives will collect a total of N2, 132,118,225 for furniture.

On the vehicle loan, each of the senators is entitled to N8, 105,600 while each House member is entitled to N7, 940,850.50. This means that the entire 107 senators will obtain N867, 299,200 as vehicle allowances while 358 representatives will get N2, 842,824,479 for their vehicles.

Culled from Thisday

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