On the 29th of May, a momentous decision was made as President Tinubu took the bold step of removing fuel subsidy in Nigeria. This action came amidst the backdrop of a global surge in fuel prices, which has unleashed a profound impact on economies and citizens across nations, and Nigeria is no exception. As the nation grapples with the repercussions of soaring fuel costs, its people are burdened with the weight of economic hardship.
However, amidst these trying times, reports signal the high earnings of Nigerian Senators and House Representatives, intensifying public discontent. This article places a spotlight on the disparity between the struggles of ordinary Nigerians and the financial gains of their elected representatives, who continue to receive substantial remuneration amidst the fuel price crisis. The removal of fuel subsidies further exacerbates the situation for the citizens, adding to the challenges they face in navigating the rising fuel prices and the increasing cost of living.
The Eye-Opening Report
A detailed investigation by Economic Confidential has exposed the earnings of the Members of the National Assembly (NASS), which comprises the Senators and Members of the House of Representatives. According to the report, these federal legislators have collectively received a staggering sum of N6.78 billion in official salaries and allowances within a year — and this figure is far back as 2016. This sum includes various components of their remuneration package, as approved by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
The Breakdown of Earnings
The remuneration packages of Nigerian Senators and House Representatives consist of several components, ranging from basic salaries to various allowances. Each Senator receives an annual salary of N2.02 million, while a Member of the House of Representatives earns N1.98 million per year as their basic salary. The Senate President’s annual basic salary is N2.48 million, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives earns N2.47 million. Additionally, the Deputy Senate President receives N2.30 million annually, while the Deputy Speaker’s annual basic salary amounts to N2.28 million.
The Comprehensive Allowance Structure
In addition to their basic salaries, federal legislators are entitled to a wide range of allowances that significantly boost their earnings. These allowances include:
- Accommodation Allowance: Each member of the National Assembly receives 200 percent of their annual salary for accommodation.
- Vehicle Maintenance and Fuel Allowance: Legislators are entitled to 75 percent of their annual salary for vehicle maintenance and fuel expenses.
- Personal Assistants Allowance: A 25 percent allowance is provided for legislators’ personal assistants.
- House Maintenance Allowance: An allowance of 5 percent is allocated for the maintenance of the legislators’ residences.
- Domestic Staff Allowance: Legislators receive a 75 percent allowance to cover the expenses of their domestic staff.
- Entertainment and Utilities Allowance: An allowance of 30 percent is provided for both entertainment and utilities expenses.
- Wardrobe Allowance: Each legislator is entitled to 25 percent of their annual salary for wardrobe expenses.
- Newspapers Allowance: A 15 percent allowance is provided to cover the cost of newspapers.
- Responsibility Allowance: The responsibility allowance ranges from 10 to 5 percent, depending on the position of the legislator.
The report reveals that within a year, 109 senators collectively earned N1.85 billion, while the 360 members of the House of Representatives received a staggering N4.93 billion. These figures have raised eyebrows among Nigerians who are currently grappling with the adverse effects of a struggling economy and rising fuel prices.
Apart from the regular allowances, federal legislators are also entitled to non-regular allowances, such as furniture and severance gratuity, which are due only once every four years. Additionally, they receive Estacode allowances in US Dollars for foreign trips and Duty Tour allowance in Naira for local trips within Nigeria.
The Struggle of Ordinary Nigerians
A striking comparison comes to light when the earnings of Nigerian Senators and House Representatives are juxtaposed with the average Nigerian worker’s income. An average worker earning a minimum wage of N18,000 per month would need to work for four years to earn the utility allowance allocated to just one legislator. This glaring disparity underscores the urgent need for a review of the remuneration package by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission to address the growing concerns of the public.
As the fuel price crisis continues to impact the lives of ordinary Nigerians, the revelation of the substantial earnings of Nigerian Senators and House Representatives raises questions about fairness and accountability. With the disparity between the financial realities of the legislators and their constituents, there is a pressing need for transparency and a reassessment of their remuneration. Only through responsible governance and prudent allocation of resources can the nation move towards economic stability and equitable prosperity for all.
- Q: Are the earnings of Nigerian Senators and House Representatives publicly disclosed? A: Yes, the earnings of federal legislators are made public through investigations and reports by organizations like Economic Confidential.
- Q: Can the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission review the remuneration package? A: Yes, the Commission has the authority to review and adjust the remuneration package for federal legislators.
- Q: What other allowances do federal legislators receive besides basic salary? A: Federal legislators receive various allowances, including accommodation, vehicle maintenance, personal assistants, house maintenance, domestic staff, entertainment, utilities, constituency, and responsibility allowances, among others.
- Q: How does the average Nigerian worker’s income compare to that of a federal legislator? A: The average Nigerian worker’s income, especially those earning minimum wage, is significantly lower compared to the earnings of federal legislators.
- Q: What steps can be taken to address the concerns raised by the public regarding the earnings of federal legislators? A: A transparent review of the remuneration package and increased accountability measures can help address the public’s concerns and promote fairness in governance.
- Q: How has the removal of fuel subsidy affected prices in Nigeria? A: It has more than tripled the price of a litre of petrol.
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