Delegates would only be paid sitting allowance for 48 days.
Indications have emerged that delegates to the ongoing National Conference may not earn up to N4 million as monthly perks.
There have been reports that each delegate was going to be paid N4 million per month to cover transport, accommodation, sitting allowance, meals, inconvenience, etc.
A mild controversy had ensued during the first plenary sitting of the Conference on Tuesday when some delegates demanded explanation on why their drivers, security, and personal assistants would not be paid by the government.
A delegate had also demanded to know why the Federal Government failed to secure and pay for their accommodation.
The Conference Secretary, Valerie-Janette Azinge, however, assured that the delegates’ allowances for the month would be paid as soon as the secretariat received account details of delegates.
No delegate demanded to know how much would be paid to them and Mrs. Azinge did not also mention the amount; thereby giving room for speculation.
Outside the National Judicial Institute, venue of the Conference, news of the controversial perks had drawn serious criticisms from many Nigerians, who considered N4 million as outrageous and called for an immediate review.
But findings by PREMIUM TIMES show that the Federal Government did not approve the amount that would have made the payment of the jumbo perks possible.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that President Goodluck Jonathan did not approve the N7 billion proposed for the conference even though the amount is contained in the 2014 budget.
The N7 billion was also contained in a proposal sent by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim, to Mr. Jonathan.
Although the actual amount approved for the three-month conference could not be ascertained, reliable sources said the delegates will not earn anything close to N4 million per month.
One of the ways through which the money would be reduced is through the sitting allowance. Sitting allowances for the delegates, PREMUM TIMES learnt, will be paid for a total of 48 days since plenary sessions will be held four days a week during the three months duration of the Conference.
However, accommodation, meals and other perks would be calculated based on approved government formula and will be carefully laid out in the appointment letter expected to be given to the delegates next week.
The conference is expected to deliberate on crucial issues like the restructuring of the country, true federalism, state police, resource control, and so on.