Some senators who lost their re-election bid have started moving their personal belongings out of their offices within the National Assembly complex.
Some of the items being moved and sighted by PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday are television sets, refrigerators , air conditioners, water dispensers, microwave ovens, cloth hangers, executive chairs, rugs and foot mats inscribed with the logo of the senate.
Items such as television sets, water dispensers, air conditioners and refrigerators were seen packaged in cartons and loaded in Hilux vans without plate numbers.
Our reporter who observed how the items were conveyed was unable to ascertain the offices from where they were taken.
Security officials at the entrance of the National Assembly who requested not to be named for fear of victimisation, confirmed that the items belong to senators who lost their re-election bid and will not be returning to the 10th Senate.
“Yes, those senators who are not returning own them (items),” one security official told PREMIUM TIMES. “They will have to remove their personal belongings.”
National Assembly speaks
The Director of Information of the National Assembly, Rawlings Agada, when contacted, told our reporter that the items moved out by the outgoing senators may be the personal belongings they purchased while using the offices.
“There are official procedures for senators moving such items out, some of them are their personal items that were purchased and they were documented when they assumed office,” he said
Mr Agada said there are protocols any outgoing lawmaker will have to pass through before moving any items out of the national assembly complex.
“For them to have access to those items and be taken out of the National Assembly, that means they have taken the necessary security clearance, if not, any items that are not supposed to be among what they should take along will not be allowed.
“Whatever is in the office is going to be left there. Some of them will have to buy additional office equipment such as photocopying machines, water dispensers and all that, so they are not necessarily government properties that are being moved out. It may be their own personal items that they moved in with.
“Under the regulation of service, certain equipment is valued over a period of four years giving a depreciating value of the items. Those items are usually valued at the current depreciation rate. Serviceable vehicles of government and they are procedures for it.”
When asked whether the outgoing senators have been cleared by the national assembly to move those items out, Mr Ataga said they are expected to have been cleared.
“They are expected, if those items, any item that is not made personal to them and not their personal item that was documented as been brought in by them, it cannot be taken out, without several clearance. Those processes must be met before they can reach the entire gate of the
“It is just like taking what does not belong to you. If you go to the market and pick somebody’s bread that is not your own, what does that mean? If you take government properties that is not your own, the general principle of the law will take it course.”
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had recently said about 70 per cent of senators and members of the House of Representatives were not re-elected.
Mr Lawan gave the figure during the commissioning ceremony of the permanent site of National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in Abuja.
He said one of the methods that would be used to prevent high numbers of lawmakers from losing reelection in the future is for the leadership of the National Assembly to organise capacity building programmes for lawmakers who will occupy the 10th assembly.
The 9th Senate will come to an end on 11 June for the senators-elect to be inaugurated into the 10th Senate.
The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) says the total monthly entitlement of each senator as salary and allowances is one million, sixty – three thousand, eight hundred and sixty naira (N1,063,860).
The commission’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Mohammed, said the total entitlement consists of basic salary of N168,866,70; motor vehicle fueling and maintenance allowance, N126,650:00; personal assistant pay N42,216:66; domestic staff 126,650:00 and entertainment, N50,660:00.
Other benefits include: utilities, N50,660:00; newspapers/periodicals N25,330:00; wardrobe allowance, N42,216,66:00; house maintenance, N8,443.33:00 and constituency allowance, N422,166:66.
He explained that “some allowances are regular, while others are non-regular.”
Regular allowances, he added, were those paid regularly along with the basic salary, while ”non-regular allowances were those paid as at when due.”
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