How Nigerian Senators Allegedly Shared N218 Million As “Holiday” Allowance

Indications have emerged that Nigerian Senators reportedly shared N218 million as a “holiday” allowance.

Goldennewsng understands that each of the 109 senators was paid N2 million before the red chamber went on its seven weeks recess.

Recall that the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, had on Tuesday during plenary when he mistakenly revealed that tokens had been sent to senators to ‘enjoy’ their recess.

A video clip showing Akpabio making the blunder had gone viral on social media.

The incident reportedly happened on Monday after the senators concluded the screening and confirmation of President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial nominees.

“In order to enable all of us to enjoy our holidays, a token has been sent to our various accounts by the Clerk of the National Assembly,” Akpabio said.

He later withdrew his earlier comment saying, “I withdraw that statement. In order to allow you to enjoy your holiday, the senate president has sent prayers to your mailboxes to assist you to go on a safe journey and return.”

A source who pleaded anonymity told Premium Times that bank alerts were received by the senators on 8 August, just before Akpabio announced it.

The source, however, did not clarify if presiding officers also got N2 million each but confirmed that all 109 senators were paid the allowance for the holidays, which commenced on Monday and will end on 26 September.

Attesting to this fact, Goldennewsng reported earlier that a lawmaker representing Bauchi Central senatorial district, Abdul Ningi revealed how much lawmakers got as a recess ‘token.’

According to Ningi, some lawmakers have gotten N2 million as recess allowance. However, he claimed not to have received his own.

Senator Ningi speaking on the development days after Akpabio’s statement confirmed that some lawmakers had gotten an allowance as earlier hinted.

Speaking with Channels TV, he said, “Nothing has come to my account yet. I heard that some people got N2m but for me, nothing yet. Hopefully [I would get] when they tidy up things.

“Some of these things, if they happen, you don’t broadcast it the way he (Akoabio) did.

“I think it is a huge embarrassment to the Senate President as a person and to the institution of the National Assembly. The Senate President should have gone further to say what the allowances are for. How did he come about the allowances? Who gave the allowances? Is it part of the remuneration?

“I don’t know what N2m would do for a holiday. I find it very difficult to understand what this money is for.”

This platform, however, gathered that the N2 million allowance given to the senators is illegal as no such provision is made in the remuneration package approved by Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), a body authorised by law to prepare salaries and allowances for public servants.

According to the commission, what lawmakers are entitled to as a “recess” allowance is 10 per cent of the annual basic salary of each legislator, which is paid once a year.

The commission states that in a package prepared by RMAFC, a senator earns N2,026,400 and therefore gets N202,240 as a recess allowance per annum.

The basic salary of the senate president per annum is N2,483,242, and therefore receives N248,424 as recess allowance, while that of his deputy is N2,309,166, and his recess allowance is N230,916.

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