Going by the remuneration approved for them by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the annual take-home (excluding estacode, Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) and some sundry allowances which they are paid as necessary), of each of the 360 members of the House of Representatives is estimated at N18.26 million.
Each of the 109 senators earns a bit higher, pocketing N19.66 million each a year, PREMIUM TIMES analyses have shown.
Additionally, each senator collects N1.01 million a year for his or her domestic staff, while each member of the House of Representatives collects N1million for the same purpose.
Each lawmaker gets N202, 640 as Newspapers/Periodicals allowance per annum.
Based on the approved pay schedule, N1.4billion is spent on the 469 lawmakers as furniture allowance annually, while their car loan stands at N2.34billion per annum.
These figures taken together, the 360 members of the House of Representatives gulp N6.58 billion from the nation’s treasury in annual salaries and allowances, while the 109 Senators cost the nation N2.14 billion in similar emoluments.
Cumulatively, the country shells out a hefty N8.72 billion every year in salaries and allowances to lawmakers in the two chambers of the National Assembly.
However, the amount the Senators and Members of the House of Representatives remit as tax appears insignificant as their income tax is calculated as a function of their basic salaries alone.
Yet the allowances, which are non-taxed are about 870 percent (Senators) and 820 percent (Reps) of their basic salaries.
PREMIUM TIMES analyses of the lawmakers’ pay did however not include the illegal but hefty quarterly allowances lawmakers pay themselves – they call it office running cost.
It is unclear how much it is now. In 2009, it was N192million per senator per quarter while their House of Representatives counterparts received N140 million per quarter.
Insiders say the “allowances” have increased dramatically over time. Lawmakers wouldn’t disclose how it is.
In the twilight of the Seventh Assembly, led by David Mark of the Peoples Democratic Party, the clamour by Nigerian civil society organizations only forced the legislators to knock off N20billion from their budgetary allocation, thus making them cut the habitual annual budget of N150 billion to N130 billion.
First term senator Ben Murray-Bruce’s call for reduction in allowances of members of the National Assembly received widespread commendation.
A number of lawmakers followed suit, giving support to Mr. Murray-Bruce’s populist proposal. But no such reduction in emoluments have so far been effected.
The N7.8 billion the federal lawmakers will pocket this year is almost the sum total of 2015 capital allocation to the Power Sector (N4.24billion, the Ministry of Women Affairs (N1.25billion), the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology (N500million), the Federal Ministry of Justice and the National Human Rights Commission (N500million), the Ministry of Science and Technology (N500million), the Ministry of Petroleum Resources (N500million), the Ministry of Labour and Productivity (N200million) and the Ministry of Police Affairs (N150million).
The infographics below give graphic analyses of the lawmakers’ salaries and allowances: