The Nigerian Senate house is the legislative arm of the Nigerian government whose job description is to propose a bill, review it and pass the bill when accepted into law. The Senate house consists of men and women who represents their contituency and these people are referred to as senators.
There are about 109 senators presently in Nigeria. These senators are also known as lawmakers who also have the authority to impeach a sitting president or government. They are ranked as the highest level of government, so when it comes to their salary they are known to be well paid even more than the president. A Nigerian senator runs for office after every four years of being in the office.
Nigerian Senate Salary
The Nigerian senators stands out to be one of the most paid, if not the most paid senators in the world as they are ranked the highest paid lawmakers in Africa and the third highest paid in the world. Nigerian senators takes home N750,000 every month and about N2,026,400.00 on an annual basis with other allowances to back it up aside this basic salary.
When the other allowances are put together plus the basic salary then a Nigerian senator takes home a total of N12, 902,360.00 as his or her allowance on annual basis. This means the 109 senators in Nigeria earn a total sum of N1, 406, 357,240.00 for their four years term.
Senators Salary in Nigeria
In the year 2018, popular Nigerian senator,Senator Sheu Sani, the representative of Kaduna District of the National Assembly declared that each senator earns a running cost of about ₦13.5 million per month. He also further stated that this huge some of money are paid in addition to a total of over ₦750,000 consolidated monthly allowances and salary. The Senate allowances are broken down as follows
Detailed breakdown of the Senator allowances.
- Vehicle fueling and Vehicle maintenance
- Travel and transport allowances (including trips abroad).
- Constituency allowance
- Domestic staff
- Personal assistant
- Entertainment allowance
- Recess allowance
- Materials and supplies allowance (office stationaries, equipments etc)
- Newspaper/periodic allowance
- House maintenance
- Wardrobe allowances
- Furniture allowance
- Duty tour
- Medical and insurance allowance
As a senator is a popular figure in the public, he or she must always appear presentable in public. Therefore, they are paid some benefits and allowances to upgrade their closet each month so as to represent their constituency well.
Vehicle Maintenance and Fueling Allowances
This allowance been given to the senators each month is to enable the smooth running around of the activities of senators. In case of vehicle repair or for the refueling of their cars.
Domestic Staff and Personal Assistant Allowances
Senators need people around them who would need to always take care of their schedules and domestic activities such as washing of cars, pruning of the garden in their home, keeping the offices clean and tidy, etc. That is why they have been given special consideration in the country’s revenue as regards the payment of their secretaries, domestic servants, and other persons that makes their works smooth.
This allowance covers all the travel expenses of the senators during the course of their duty and tenure.
The constituency allowance amounts to about N200 million which is meant to be used for public projects within the constituency of each senator.
Apart from the Estacode allowance, the senators are also paid a duty tour allowance which covers different expenses of the senators whenever they go out on official tours and duty.
House Maintenance and Newspaper/periodic Allowance
Senators get paid for basic home furniture and newspaper deliveries. As they also need to be informed about the general happenings in the country.
The severance allowance, vehicle loans, accommodation, and other retirement benefits of senators take up to #24,000,000 from the federal government revenue after every four years at the end of their tenure.
As at 2017, the monthly allowance of a Nigerian senator was 13.5 million as the total running cost of office of a Senator. Although, there are no exact instructions on what the funds they are paid should be used for, legislators must always deliver receipts to back up their expenditures from the running cost.
Although, these are just formalities, it is very possible for the receipts need to be tended to be forged, because of this, a member of the legislature house in Nigeria can generally spend his allowances whichever way he or she deems fit without being queried.
After a four year duration in the national assembly, a senator is paid an extra amount of N24,000,000 and this is payment for things like; severance allowance, furniture allowance, vehicle loan and accommodation. This is always paid at the end of the senator tenure in office. In total, the federal government has to spend N2, 625, 810.00 on each senator for accommodation, gratuity, furniture and vehicle loans.
If this is added to the basic salary and other allowances earlier outlined, each of the 109 senators earn up to N33, 992,360. In comparison with what other senators across the world earn, Nigerian senators earn the highest. Every year, the Nigerian government spends about N150 billion naira on the national assembly for each senator allowance.
However, the federal government at a point had to reduce the money by N30 billion, which reduced the total cost of keeping the senators to N120 billion on an annual basis. Compared to other bigger nation’s of the world, where the US senates earns; $3,409,422 annually, the UK Senates; £494,285.43 indeed the Nigerian Senates are living the big life.
Aside the basic income of the Nigerian Senate, there is another project which is been given to each senator called; Constituency fund for federal lawmakers. For this project, a senator is issued the sum of 200 million naira, although not in cash.
The purpose of this cash is for the senator to think and submit projects that are equivalent to that amount of money given to them. This project is meant to be carried out through an agency of government but with the senator overseeing the whole process.
The problem why this project is not been carried out is because with this, it gives more room for corruption because more often than not, these projects are not enforced and the money is still disbursed. As a result of the extravagant lifestyle lived by politicians coupled with the tenacity in which they fight for this office has since raised the eyebrows of Nigerians.