9th NASS : Senators, Reps, aides to get N30.2bn severance package
Senators and members of the House of Representatives will be sharing a total of N30.2 billion as severance allowance when the 9th National Assembly winds down next month, according to an investigation conducted by The Nation.
Also to benefit from the said sum are aides of the federal lawmakers.
Severance package or gratuity is money paid to lawmakers and their aides at the end of their four-year tenure.
The amount in question is already captured in the 2023 Appropriation Act passed by the National Assembly and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
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It represents 12.6 per cent of the N238.78 billion allocated to the National Assembly in the N21.8 trillion 2023 Appropriation Act.
The severance package is N7 billion higher than the N23.678 billion approved for the Eighth Assembly.
Of the N30.2 billion, Senate President Ahmad Lawan is expected to receive about N7.45 million while the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, will receive N6.93 million.
Each of the remaining 107 Senators will go home with N6.08 million.
House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, is entitled to N7.43 million while Deputy Speaker Ahmed Idris Wase’s share is N6.86 million.
Each of the other 358 Reps will get N5.96 million.
The severance package of each of the 6,375 legislative aides depends on their salary grade.
Besides the money, the 469 lawmakers (including those re-elected) and some of their aides will go home with their official vehicles worth N5.5 billion.
This amount was part of the N125 billion budgetary allocation to the National Assembly in 2019.
They are also entitled to go home with some of their office equipment and consumables, including refrigerators, laptops and personal computers, among other entitlements.
Investigation showed that some of the lawmakers who are not returning and their aides are already clearing their offices of personal belongings, while those who won reelection into the 10th Assembly have also arranged their property in readiness for movement to new offices soon to be allocated to them by the National Assembly management based on ranking.
A visit to some of the lawmakers’ offices both at the Senate and House of Representatives revealed that their aides were busy packing their belongings into bags while others were being assisted by some contract staff rendering ancillary services in the National Assembly to move their belongings into waiting vans.
It was gathered that many of the lawmakers started moving their personal effects out of the National Assembly immediately after the last party primary elections in May 2022 when they failed to secure their parties’ tickets, while others started moving theirs after the last general election.
Less than one third of the legislators in the 9th Assembly are returning to the parliament.
The legislative aides fall into two categories.
In one group are five Statutory Legislative Aides employed by the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) for each of the 465 lawmakers numbering 2,325.
The second category comprises about 4,000 Political and Legislative Aides employed by the National Assembly management for the Presiding Officers.