Topic: Nigerian Senators,House Of Reps Members To"Earn"N71 billion In Illegal Allowance  (Read 1311 times)

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From SaharaReporters

The illicit allowance is enough to build a 450MW power plant for the nation

Federal lawmakers’ self-assigned hefty annual allowance, which totals more than N70 billion this year, would be sufficient to inject at least a 450 Megawatt of power into the national power grid, a cost analysis by Premium Times has shown.

Put differently, that sum will complete the dualization of one of the nation’s deadliest highways - the Abuja-Lokoja road - which, relative to other highways across the country, is well funded, but in reality, remains one of the most fund-starved projects.

In the 2012 budget, after years of being abandoned, the four lots of that road that leads from the federal capital territory only received N2 billion apiece, a figure lower than the presidency’s 2012 feeding cost and the senate’s bill for new cars. Both subheads cost N2.3 billion.

Beyond the cars, the lawmakers in the senate and the House of Representatives will this year receive a total of about N71 billion in self-allocated allowances, widely considered illegal, and famously branded, jumbo.

At an average $1 million(N155million) per megawatt of electricity,- a ratio considered comparatively standard by experts - that can provide extra power to the tune of at least 450MW to a nation shuddering under extreme power shortage.

The illegal allowances for the year is almost the amount the federal government needs to fund the Calabar power station, under the National Independent Power Project(NIPP).

Combined with the less than 200MW Ibom power plant in neighbouring Akwa Ibom state, the production value is expected to adequately feed both states, minimizing the operational cost of the nation's small scale businesses from running a barbing saloon on road sides to powering the multibillion naira Tinapa project.

Despite claims they were reducing their huge pay last year, Nigerian senators currently draw a scandalous N180 million illegal allowance each annually, retaining them as perhaps the world’s highest paid lawmakers.

The amount, covering the four quarters of the year at N45 million apiece for each senator, is the controversial “jumbo allowance”, an outsized, self-apportioned remuneration enjoyed by the legislators.

It excludes their basic benefits like salary - a far lesser figure -and essential allowances approved by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

It also does not include allowances and estacodes the senators draw while on committee work within and outside the country.

A member of the House of Representatives also receives N36 million for the same benefit, while the principal officers for the two chambers are paid far higher amount after every three months. There are claims the amount may have been recently reduced to N27 million, but lawmakers have not backed up the claims.

A purported 63 per cent pay review agreed to by a new session of the National Assembly in 2011 to stem public uproar stirred by corruption charges involving former speaker, Dimeji Bankole and deputy, Usman Nafada, has hardly made a significant difference.

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