The 8th National Assembly is yet to pass a bill but has spent N12, 967, 600,000 in two months to maintain its members, who were inaugurated on June 9, The Nation Newspaper has gathered.
The senators and reps who were at loggerhead over who emerges leaders of the red and green chambers all went mute when it came to sharing money. The senators, numbering 109 got N36.4 million each while the 360 members of the House of Representatives received N25 million each.
The Senators and the representatives were first paid N10 million each in June to ‘cushion’ the difficulty of settling down in Abuja. The amount, which was to cover their expenses on housing, transport and furniture, cost the public about N4.6billion.
Last month under a pro-rata arrangement for quarterly allowance covering June, Senators got N13. 4 million each and representatives, N7million each.
Since their inauguration, the legislators have gone on recess three times and they are yet to pass a bill since they began sitting in June. Their inauguration was followed by the controversial emergence of Senators Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as Senate President and Deputy President.
Yakubu Dogara and Lasun Yusuf were also picked as House Speaker and Deputy Speaker against the wish of their party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). Last Wednesday, senators disagreed on the recommendation by the Finance Committee to cut their salary and allowances.
The James Manager-led committee had recommended a 30 per cent cut which, if accepted,would have saved tax payers about N2billion yearly. This translates to N2 million reduction from the N51 million quarterly allowances enjoyed under the 7th Senate or about N874 million saved from each year’s four quarterly allowances alone.
Besides, the representatives’ reduction of their quarterly allowances from N39million to N33 million will save the nation about N2. 1 billion, made up of N6million reduction in each member’s allowances over four quarters.
Some Nigerians have criticised the Senators for rejecting the pay cut proposal even after President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have resolved to slash their salary by 50 per cent.