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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Nigerian Federal Lawmakers to Receive N30.2 Billion in Severance Pay

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ABUJA, Nigeria – As the curtain falls on the 9th National Assembly in Nigeria next month, a tidy sum of N30.2 billion awaits senators, members of the House of Representatives, and their aides, serving as severance pay.

This disclosure follows a recent investigation carried out by local media sources.

Severance packages, also referred to as gratuity, are monetary incentives paid to lawmakers and their aides upon the completion of their four-year term.

This significant allocation was approved within the N21.8 trillion 2023 Appropriation Act, sanctioned by President Muhammadu Buhari, representing 12.6 per cent of the N238.78 billion set aside for the National Assembly.

“The severance package comes with a substantial increase, marking a jump of N7 billion from the N23.678 billion allocated to the Eighth Assembly,” the media report stated.

In the distribution of this fund, Senate President Ahmad Lawan is due to receive about N7.45 million, with his deputy, Ovie Omo-Agege, slated for N6.93 million. The remaining 107 Senators will each walk away with N6.08 million.

House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, is set to receive N7.43 million, with Deputy Speaker Ahmed Idris Wase’s share at N6.86 million. Each of the other 358 representatives will pocket N5.96 million.

The payouts to the 6,375 legislative aides are contingent upon their salary grade.

“Besides the substantial severance package, the 469 lawmakers, including those re-elected, and some of their aides, will receive their official vehicles, totalling a value of N5.5 billion.

Additional office equipment and consumables, including refrigerators, laptops, and personal computers, are also part of the exit package,” the investigative report revealed.

Sources within the National Assembly have reported that many lawmakers, particularly those not returning, and their aides, have begun the process of clearing out their offices.

Those fortunate enough to secure re-election are preparing for a shift to new offices allocated based on ranking.

Evidence of this transition was visible during recent visits to lawmakers’ offices. Aides were seen packing personal belongings, assisted by contract staff, and moving them into awaiting vans.

“This is a process that has been unfolding since May 2022. Many lawmakers began moving personal effects immediately after the last party primary elections, following their failure to secure their parties’ tickets.

Others followed suit after the general election,” a source at the National Assembly said.

With less than a third of the current lawmakers returning to the parliament, there is considerable change in the air at the Nigerian National Assembly.

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