N13.5m running cost of Senators not captured in Remuneration Act – RMAFC
The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, On Wednesday, said only the management of the National Assembly Service Commission can explain the N13.5 million running cost allegedly being enjoyed by each Senator.
Ibrahim Mohammed, the Head, Public Relations, who stated this in a statement in Abuja, said the Remuneration Act only covers salary and allowances but not running cost.
He said that the clarification became imperative in view of the recent revelation by Shehu Sani, an APC Senator representing Kaduna Central, who was reported to have disclosed to the public that each senator collects monthly running cost of N13.5 million.
Mr Sani had said that this was in addition to the monthly salary of N750, 000 prescribed by the “Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances, etc.) (Amendments) Act 2008.”
Mr Mohammed said that a closer look at the monthly entitlement of senators reveals that each of them collects salary and allowances of the sum of N1.06 million.
He said that the figure consists of the following: Basic-N168,866, motor vehicle fueling and maintenance allowance; N126,650, Personal Assistant N42,216.
“Domestic Staff-N126,650, Entertainment-N50,660,Utilities-N50,660, Newspapers/Periodicals-N25,330, Wardrobe -N42,216, House Maintenance –N8,443 and Constituency-N422,166 respectively.”
He also said that some allowances were regular, while others were non-regular.
“Regular allowances are paid regularly with basic salaries, while non-regular allowances are paid when due.
“For instance, furniture allowance of N6.079 million and severance gratuity of N6.079 million are paid once every tenure, while motor vehicle loan of N8.1 million is optional which the beneficiary has to offset before leaving office.
“The payment of running cost is not part of RMAFC mandate, therefore, only the National Assembly can explain it,” he said.
According to Mohammed, the Law on Salaries and Allowances of Public Office Holders is very clear.
Mr Mohammed also said that auditing does not fall within the purview of the commission.
He said that any other payments being enjoyed by any political or public office holder outside those provided in the Remuneration Act of 2008 were not known to the commission.
He added that the Chief Accounting Officers of the agencies concerned should explain such payments.
Mr Mohammed advised that Nigerians should avoid misinformation and misrepresentation of facts capable of misleading citizens and members of the international community.
He said that they could access the actual details of the present remuneration package for Political, Public and Judicial Office holders in Nigeria published on its website: http://www.rmafc.gov.ng, www.rmafc.gov.ng.
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