Discussions about Nigerian Senators' salaries and allowances are among the most controversial topics you would find in various media outlets, especially with so many bogus numbers thrown around. Nigeria ranks among the countries with the largest number of legislators and is said to have one of the highest paid federal legislators in the world109 senatorsearns over $597,000 per year in salaries and benefits. This totals ₦20 billion (US$65 million) per year and ₦79 billion (US$260 million) at the end of each term (4 years). Since members of the Senate only have to sit a minimum of 180 days a year, that equates to ₦1 million per day.
It is well known that the Nigerian political sector is one of the most lucrative jobs in the country today. It's easy to see why politicians go to great lengths to secure political seats, particularly in the Senate. Have you ever wondered why politicians spend so much money while campaigning for political office? This is often because their goal is to recoup what they spent during their campaign and recoup even more when they eventually win the political seat they are running for. One of the main reasons why the Senate seat is the most attractive and lucrative place to concentrate, even for top politicians, is simply because of the high salary packages that senators receive. You can also refer to the Senate Chamber as a retirement home for senior political officeholders and bi-term governors.
How Much Do Nigerian Senators Really Make As Salary?
Only recently, the exact figures of the take-home salaries plus allowances earned by Nigerian senators have not been released to the public. With tons of uncertainties, speculation and rumors surrounding what the average Nigerian Senator earns, a Kaduna State Senator, Senator Shehu Sani, revealed in aInterviewthe actual earnings of an incumbent senator in Nigeria, both base salaries and allowances.
Senator Shehu Sani, the representative of the Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, informed the public that Nigerian Senators are charged in addition to 13.5 million. This makes a total of ₦14.25 million per month and a total of ₦171 million on an annual basis . Converted at the current black market rate of the naira to US dollars, the total is $39,583 per month and $475,000 per year.
Following Senator Shehu Sani's exposure on the matter, the Nigerian masses were predictably outraged by the huge salaries and allowances Nigerian senators were earning for doing almost nothing productive amid the country's economic downturn. As always, the demands of the masses fell on deaf ears, and to date nothing has been done to alter or regulate the vast sums of money these politicians rake in every month.
An annual breakdown of Nigerian Senators' salaries and allowances
From information gathered so far and details released in 2017, each Nigerian Senate office receives a total of N13.5 million monthly and while there are no specific instructions as to what these allocations are spent on, Senators are required to provide receipts be submitted showing what these allowances were spent on. According to Senator Shehu Sani, senators should be held accountable for the assignments they receive.
After a tenure as a Senator, which usually lasts four (4) years, the legislators receive an additional 24,000,000 Naira which is earmarked for various allowances such as cloakroom allowance, vacation allowance, constituency allowance, housing allocation. among other benefits.
Combined, the federal government spends N2,625,810 for each senator on various funds. And together with the starting base salary and other allowances mentioned above, each of the 109 Senators in Nigeria receives a total of N33,992,360.
Based on this breakdown, the average amount of base salary and allowances paid to a Nigerian Senator is N29 million per month. One would easily understand the reason behind the former PresidentJefe Olusegun Obasanjo'SCommentback in August 2016 on the same issue, when he described the National Assembly as a den of corruption occupied by a gang of “unarmed assailants”.
A complete list of allowances and their corresponding values received by each Nigerian Senator
1. Car Subsidy: ₦9,936,982
This allocation includes the vehicles that a Senator will purchase. It is common knowledge that all Nigerian senators receive some of the latest cars during their tenure. 2012 approx1.3 billion naira was spent on senators' official cars. The amount increased to N5.5 billion in 2019 when they switched to another make of car.
The Chamber has always believed that cars are not bought for the luxury of individual senators, but to improve the work of committees.
2. Hardship allowance: ₦ 1,242,122
While the term "hardship allowance" is not clearly defined in this context, an economic research institute defines hardship allowance as an amount that is paid in recognition of "other" circumstances at the place of residence. Host difficulty can include isolation, special health issues, extreme weather, and political instability. This allowance is usually expressed as a percentage of base salary, according to the institute. This allowance is paid to ensure that the senator has a comfortable life during his tenure. This could also be called "risk fee' just as they are received from Nigerian-based doctors, except that the money for the latter (N5,000) is much lower than for the former (N1.2 million).
3. Holiday pay: ₦248,424
Like any other civil servant, a Nigerian senator is entitled to furloughs. However, he is paid a whopping ₦248,424 on top of his monthly base salary. This allowance is paid during the Senator's leave of absence.
4. Constituency Allocation: ₦4,968,509
This allowance is paid to ensure that each senator manages small projects in their constituency. So if you see posters that say, "This project was approved by Senator/Hon. XYZ funded,” know that this is a method used by federal lawmakers to communicate how they are allegedly using funds allocated under the zone intervention project system.
Each legislature representing a constituency is believed to have outlined the needs of their respective constituencies for implementation during their tenure. Unfortunately, once one of the projects is approved, the executive turns the money over to the contractors, which are often a fraudulent company set up by the legislature that inserted the project. The funds earmarked for the project will eventually be divided between the parties who have agreed to the incorporation. While some of the fund can be used to carry out the project, much more will be diverted to the private accounts of its political supporters.
5. Vehicle Maintenance Allowance: ₦ 1,863,184
Granted, this job is available to take care of the fueling of vehicles owned by a Senator, as well as when repair or service needs arise. In short, a senator is given a luxury official car and money to service it.
6. Furniture allowance – ₦ 7,452,736
This allowance is paid to allow each incumbent senator to purchase or repair furniture in their office or any other place they reside.
7. Subsidy to newspapers: ₦ 1,242,122
This allowance covers the purchase of newspapers to keep the Chamber member informed of issues in and around the country.
8. Entertainment – ₦828,081
This allowance covers the cost of any type of entertainment a senator may choose.
9. Wardrobe Zulage – ₦ 621,061
This allowance covers the Senator's tailcoat suits. It is assumed that these amounts will be paid annually.
10. Domestic worker – ₦863,184
This assignment is to pay the staff who work at the senator's house. This includes cooks, cleaners and security guards.
11. Recreational Allowance – ₦248,424
As the name suggests, this allowance covers Senate rest periods.
12. Utilities – ₦828,081
This allowance covers bills like water, electricity and more at the senator's home.
13. Accommodation - 4,968,509₦
As the name suggests, this allowance covers the senator's apartment.
Other incentives Nigerian senators receive
Each Nigerian Senator will be paid £200m to work on projects in their constituency. This money will not be added to any of your wages or allowances. This money will reportedly not be handed over to senators in person. Rather, an agency in government is responsible for managing this fund and should only release this fund when senators have identified projects to use these funds in their constituency.
If a Senator is eventually removed or removed from his or her constituency, that Senator will receive a one-time payment (severance bonus) of N7,452,736.50
In June 2019 it wasreportson how the sum of N4.68 billion was divided among 469 lawmakers. The amount, marked as a welcome package, was intended for the legislature to solve housing and facility problems.
Further research also found that each Senator would receive a whopping 40.5 million naira as a general expenses allowance over a three-month period, while each member of the House of Representatives would receive 30 million naira for the same purpose. These are just a few of the many hidden grants reportedly given to wealthy Nigerian senators.
Are Nigerian senators better paid than their counterparts in other countries?
Compared to the salaries of MPs in other countries, there are not many countries whose MPs earn more than Nigerian senators.On a dollar basis, Nigerian senators earn $70,911. Here's what legislators from other countries deserve:
- Gana – 25.770 $
- South Africa – $76,283
- United States - $174,000
- Canada – 127.089 $
- Deutschland – 204.961 $
- France – $77,521
- Spain – $50,055
- UK – $89,962
- Saudi Arabian – $63,982
- Malaysia – 26.394 $
- Sri Lanka – $3,546
Any plans to review Senators' salaries and distribution structure?
Amid mounting security concerns and economic downturns in the country, several NGOs have stepped up calls for the Nigerian government to cut the cost of governance, starting with reducing the number of senators from 109 to 70, plus a massive pay cut. for members of the house. In 2015, in response to popular outcry, President Mohammad Buhari ordered the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to deal with the issue. The RMAFC chief at the time said the commission was working to review the salaries and allowances of political office holders in the National Assembly, state legislatures and local governments, adding that the review would also include the judiciary.
Meanwhile, investigations have revealed that the process of downward revisions to the rights of lawmakers and other officials was aborted by the presidency, which refused to officially receive a bill drafted by the Directorate of Appropriations to review officials' salaries and allowances, in order to mobilize revenue and fiscal. Commission.