Buhari, VP, ministers, lawmakers, others earn N9.18bn yearly

image

Elias Mbam

Everest Amaefule, Abuja

Twelve months after the Revenue Mobilisation,
Allocation and Fiscal Commission pledged to give
the nation reviewed salaries and allowances for
political office holders,
lawmakers and key
government officials still cart home about N9.18bn
annually in salaries and allowances.
Investigation show that while RMAFC had
completed work on the review of the emoluments
of political office holders about November 2015,
the new emoluments have not seen the light of the
day due to the politics involved in the process.
As a result, key political office holders still earn the
full packages they earned before the decision to
reduce the earnings of political and judicial office
holders.

The annualised salary and allowances of the
president is N14,058,820, while that of the vice-
president is N12,126,290.
President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President
Yemi Osinbajo had announced their decision to
take only 50 per cent of the salary and allowances
approved for them, meaning that they take home
N7,029,410 and N6,063,145 respectively.
However, most of the allowances and entitlements
of the President and Vice-President are not
monetised but fully provided by the state.
Apart from salary, the regular allowances that are
monetised for the President are only hardship
allowance, N1,757,350.50 per annum; and
consistency allowance, N8,786,762.50 per annum.
For the Vice-President, the hardship allowance is
N1,515,786.25 per annum, while the consistency
allowance is N7, 578,931.25 per annum.
The irregular allowances for the President are the
severance allowance – 300 per cent of the annual
salary or N10,544,115 – and leave allowance – 10
per cent of the annual salary or N351,470.50.
The irregular allowances of the Vice-President are
the severance allowance – 300 per cent of the
annual salary or N9, 094,717.50 – and leave
allowance – 10 per cent of the annual salary or
N303,157.25.
Other allowances that the President and the Vice-
President are supposed to enjoy which are not
provided in monetary terms include motor vehicle
fuelling and maintenance, special assistants, and
personal assistants.
Others are domestic staff, entertainment, utilities,
security and newspapers/periodical allowances.
These irregular allowances include
accommodation, furniture, duty tour, estacode,
medical, and severance/gratuity.
For a senator, the salary and allowances add up to
N20,669,280 per annum. Those of a member of
the House of Representatives add up to
N17,271,347.75.
There are 109 senators and 360 representatives.
With the exception of the Senate President, the
Deputy Senate President, the Speaker of the House
of Representatives and his deputy whose
allowances are provided by the state, lawmakers
get a total of N8,397,965,454.5.
For a minister, the salary and allowances add up to
N14,705,164 while those of presidential aide add
up to N14,085,843.75. The Head of Service and the
Secretary to the Government of the Federation are
on the same salaries and allowances.
There are 36 ministers and 15 presidential aides.
Their annual emoluments add up to
N770,083,888.25.
RMAFC had in June 2015 set in motion the
process for the downward review of the existing
salaries and allowances of political, public and
judicial office holders when it set up a committee
chaired by Mr. Abdullahi Inde.
At the inauguration, returning Chairman of RMAFC,
Mr. Elias Mbam, had urged the committee to be
conscious of the prevailing economic situation and
the need to reduce cost of governance so as to
free more funds for development.
The current remuneration of public office holders is
guided by the Remuneration Act of 2008. A review
became imperative following dwindling government
revenues occasioned by falling prices in the
international oil market.
However, investigation showed that when Mbam
left the commission following the completion of his
first tenure in November 2015, the acting Chairman
of RMAFC, Mr. Umar Gana, made a number of
attempts to present the new packages to President
Buhari but failed.
“The acting chairman could not get the green light
from the Villa to present the remuneration package
to the President,” an authoritative source told our
correspondent.
“That is why the new salary structure has been
stalled. The law requires that the President must
get the recommendation from RMAFC who would
table it before the Federal Executive Council for
ratification. Then, it is presented to the National
Assembly.”
The current allowances of lawmakers are in
categories. Some are tagged regular allowances
while others are tagged irregular allowances.
Regular allowances are those that are paid on
monthly basis along with the monthly salaries
while irregular allowances are paid at other
frequencies ranging from annual to once in 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 occur in the
year.
The allowances are calculated as percentages of
the annual salaries. While some are higher than the
annual salaries; others are lower.
Basically, both senators and Reps are paid the
same percentages of their salaries as allowances
except in constituency allowance where senators
are paid 250 per cent while Reps are 100 per cent.
Vehicle maintenance and fuelling alliance is 75 per
cent; domestic staff, 75 per cent; entertainment, 30
per cent; utilities, 30 per cent; wardrobe, 25 per
cent; newspapers, 15 per cent; house
maintenance, five per cent; and personal
assistants, 25 per cent.
The irregular allowances include housing
allowance, 200 per cent of their annual salaries;
furniture allowance, 300 per cent; recess
allowance, 10 per cent and severance allowance,
300 per cent.
Housing allowance is paid once a year. Furniture
allowance is paid once in four years and recess
allowance is paid when the lawmakers are on
recess and they go on recess four times in a year.
Severance allowance is at the end of the four-year
tenure.
There are other allowances that the lawmakers are
not paid directly but provided and paid for by the
government. These are special assistants, security
and legislative aides. What this means is that those
engaged in these capacities are paid directly by
the government as the allowances cannot be
claimed by political office holders. These
allowances apply to senators and Reps.
Medical expenses are also borne by the
government when they have need for the services.
The lawmakers are also entitled to tour duty
allowance, estacode (when they travel).For a
senator, the tour duty allowance is N37, 000 per
night; the estacode is $950 per night.
For a member of the House of Representatives, the
tour duty allowance is N35, 000 per night; while
estacode is $900 per night.
Ministers and presidential aides also enjoy similar
allowances.
Experts, however, are not worried by the official
earnings of political office holders but by the
unofficial ones. Lawmakers, for instance, are said
to get some quarterly payment.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s