Senators and members of the House of Representatives that will constitute the 8th National Assembly and ministers to be appointed by President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will on assumption of office receive welcome perks amounting to N9bn.
The perks of office include the housing allowance which each of the incoming office holder is entitled to receive once a year, the furniture allowance which they are entitled to once in four years and motor vehicle loan which they are entitled to once in their tenure.
The perks are some of the non-regular allowances that the political office holders are entitled to as prescribed by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
There are other allowances, both regular and irregular ones, but housing, furniture and motor vehicle are paid at the beginning of the tenure of the office holders to ensure that they settle down appropriately.
Housing allowance for the political office holders is 200 per cent of their annual salaries; furniture is 300 per cent and motor vehicle loan is 400 per cent.
The eighth National Assembly will be inaugurated by Buhari on June 5 after the expiration of the tenure and dissolution of the 7th National Assembly on the same date.
Membership of the eighth National Assembly include 109 senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives elected on the platform of different political parties from across the country.
Investigation by one of our correspondents showed that each of the senators would be paid N4, 052,800 on the assumption of office as housing allowance. They will also be paid the same amount every year because the housing allowance is on annual basis.
This means that 107 senators will be paid a total of N433, 649,600m as housing allowance annually.
The Senate President and the Deputy Senate President are not entitled to this allowance because their own accommodation is to be provided by the Federal Government.
Similarly, each member of the House of Representatives will be paid N3, 970,425 as housing allowance on assumption of office.
This means that the 358 representatives will be collecting a total of N1, 421,412,150 as housing allowance. Again, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives are excluded from this allowance as the Federal Government is to provide their own accommodation.
Following the monetisation of entitlements of public officials, the lawmakers lost the right to occupy houses built and maintained by the government. Consequently, the Federal Government sold the houses previously occupied by the lawmakers to them.
The principal officers of the National Assembly also benefited from the sale of the houses. As a result, the Federal Capital Territory Administration is at present building new houses for the lawmakers that will emerge as the Senate President, the Deputy Senate President, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.
For furniture, each of the senators is to get N6, 079,200. The furniture for both the Senate President and his deputy are to be fully provided by the government. This means that 107 senators will get a total of N650, 474,400 as furniture allowance. Furniture allowance is paid once in four years.
Each member of the House of Representatives will be paid N5, 955,637.50 as furniture allowance. This means that 358 representatives (excluding the speaker and his deputy) will collect a total of N2, 132,118,225 for furniture.
For vehicle, each of the senators is entitled to N8, 105,600 while each representative is entitled to N7, 940,850.50. This means that 107 senators will collect N867, 299,200 for vehicle while 358 representatives will collect N2, 842,824,479 for the same purpose.
The allowance for vehicle had been controversial. According to RMAFC, this allowance payable once in four years is a loan for any member that wants. This means that it is repayable.
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