Each member of the House of Representatives earns between N8 million and N12 million as running cost per month, depending on the flow of funds into the account of the National Assembly, a weekend news report revealed.
Their counterparts in the Senate, who are just 109 in number, earn a stable sum of N13.5 million monthly.
A legislative source confided Sunday Punch on Saturday, March 17, 2018, that because of their high number (360), members of the House received a slightly lower amount of running cost than senators.
The source said, “For the money to go round, the Reps usually take lower than senators. Depending on the flow of allocation into the account of the National Assembly, the running cost for members is between N9.3 million and N12 million. There are times though when what is available is N8 million.”
A member representing one of the federal constituencies in Ondo State, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, said, “Our (monthly) running cost is not stable. It fluctuates. There were some months that we collected N8 million.
“We are supposed to be collecting N12 million every month but most of the time we make do with whatever they give us.
“There are things we don’t even know in the entire arrangement because the shortfall will not be included in our subsequent allocations. The whole thing is shrouded in secrecy. Only the presiding officers know the correct situation.”
SUNDAY PUNCH also learnt that the running cost excluded the monthly salary of between N600, 000 and N1 million paid to members.
Investigations showed that until 2010, members of the National Assembly were paid running cost quarterly, but received their salaries monthly.
The quarterly allocation or running cost of each member was between N27.9 million and N35 million.
However, the leadership of the 6th Assembly (2007-2011) reportedly came under pressure from members to “collapse” the quarterly payment and pay the running cost monthly.
When contacted for comments, Abdulrazak Namdas, the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, said everything about the members’ earnings had been published.
He said, “The current 8th Assembly even went the extra mile of publishing the breakdown of the budget of the National Assembly, just to clarify this issue.
“It continues to be a distraction when we want to focus on many national issues awaiting our attention.”
Last week, when Namdas was asked to confirm the statement of Senator Shehu Sani that each senator took home N13.5m monthly by giving the figure of the House members, the lawmaker said it was not necessary to do so.
Read more at Naij