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National Assembly: N13.5m Senator’s monthly pay illegal, N1.1m approved wage – RMAFC

The Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) on Wednesday said that the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) should be held responsible for the running cost of N13.5m paid to each senator on a monthly basis,
In a statement by RMAFC spokesman, Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed, the commission said on Wednesday that the approved remuneration of a senator for a month was N1.06m, adding that anything outside the payment was against the law.
Senator Shehu Sani, a senator representing Kaduna Central constituency, had in a recent interview confirmed the reports that each senator gets a jumbo pay of about N40m per quarter.
Sani had explained that each senator receives N13.5m a month for running cost apart from salary and allowances.
According to him, although senators are not directed on how to spend the money, they are expected to “retire the payment.”
Washing its hands off from the jumbo pay, RMAFC said only the National Assembly Service Commission should be held responsible for the jumbo pay, adding that it had become imperative for RMAFC to give a clarification because the subject had remained in the public domain since Sani made the disclosure.
Mohammed said, “The law on salaries and allowances of public office holders is very clear and as such it is only the management of the National Assembly Service Commission that can explain the N13.5m running cost allegedly being enjoyed by each senator.
“A closer look at the monthly entitlement of senators reveals that each senator collects salary and allowances in the sum of N1,063,860:00 consisting of the following: basic, N168,866:70; motor vehicle fuelling and maintenance allowance, N126,650:00; personal assistant N42,216:66; domestic staff, 126,650:00; entertainment, N50,660:00; utilities, N50,660:00; newspapers/periodicals, N25, 330:00; wardrobe-N42,216,66:00; house maintenance, N8,443.33:00; and constituency, N422,166:66.
“It is instructive to note that some allowances are regular while others are non-regular. Regular allowances are paid regularly with basic salary while non-regular allowances are paid as and when due.  Furniture allowance (N6,079,200:00) and  severance gratuity (N6,079,200:00), for instance, are paid once in every tenure while motor vehicle loan (N8,105,600:00) is optional which the beneficiary has to offset before leaving office.
“The payment of running cost is not part of RMAFC’s mandate.  Therefore, only the NASS can explain it.
“Thus, the RMAFC also wishes to use this opportunity to state that any other payments enjoyed by any political or public office holders outside those provided in the Remuneration Act of 2008 is not known to the commission and the Chief Accounting Officer of the agencies concerned should explain it.
“To avoid misinformation and misrepresentation of facts capable of misleading citizens and members of the international community, the commission considers it most appropriate and necessary to request Nigerians and any other interested party to avail themselves of the opportunity to access the actual details of the present Remuneration package for Political, Public and Judicial Office holders in Nigeria published on its website: www.rmafc.gov.ng.”
Mohammed added that auditing did not fall within the purview of the commission. -Punch

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