A Feeding Frenzy…Let’s Stop This Madness!!!

President Barack Obama’s salary is $400,000 per annum. A Nigeria Senator collects ₦48 million per quarter. At the end of the year, each senator’s haul will be in the neighbourhood of $1.7 million. Each of the 360 members of the House of Representatives will receive ₦35 million, that’s $300,000 per member per quarter. At the end of the year, each member of the House would have collected a cool $1.2 million.

A Feeding Frenzy…Let’s Stop This Madness!!! by Daniel Elombah
President Barack Obama’s salary is $400,000 per annum. A Nigeria Senator collects ₦48 million per quarter. At the end of the year, each senator’s haul will be in the neighbourhood of $1.7 million. Each of the 360 members of the House of Representatives will receive ₦35 million, that’s $300,000 per member per quarter. At the end of the year, each member of the House would have collected a cool $1.2 million.
I have received emails and phone calls from around the world questioning our report about the incredible amount Nigeria government officials earns in a year compared to their counterparts around the world. 
Now take this to the bank and please make sure you read to the bottom…
Past surveys of salaries and benefits of public office holders from the Baltic to the Bahamas, the Americas and the Far East and everywhere else, has showed that Ministers and Federal Legislators in Nigeria are the highest paid in the world, despite the country being among the poorest in terms of per capita income, security, social provision and living standards. On the other hand, Nigerian workers are one of the lowest paid in the world.
The Nigerian Minister earns more than his American, British or German counterpart, and of course enjoys pecks of office those ones cannot even dare dream of – for doing next to NOTHING!!!
Likewise a Senator and his House of Representatives counterpart in Nigeria receive much more than their contemporaries elsewhere.
A Nigerian Minister is paid N31,915,800 (32 million) per year, comprising salary (2,026,400), and benefits plus allowances (N29,889,400)…American secretary (N23,488,000); British Secretary (N29,736,000) German Minister (N30,287,667.20).”
A Nigeria Minister of State gets N30, 538,248 (salary N1, 957,580; allowances N28, 580,666) higher than those of a South African Minister (N7, 704,558);
Compare again to American secretary (N23, 488,000); British Secretary (N29, 736,000) German Minister (N30, 287,667.20)
A Senator officially gets N34,854,680 (salary N2,026,400; allowances N32,828280); a House member N39,876,956.17 (salary N1,985,212.50; allowances N37,891,743.67). 
Whereas a Senator in the U.S earns N21, 146,000, the same as a member of the House of Representatives; a UK Member of Parliament earn £64,766 (N14, 896,180)
In other words, a Federal Legislator in Nigeria is paid more than double what a Member of British Parliament earns per annum.
A local government councillor in Nigeria earn over N1 million per month while a university professor, or a director in a ministry is paid peanuts as take home.
Senate President David Mark alone takes N250 million quarterly or N83.33 million per month. Senate Deputy President Ike Ekweremadu gets N150 million per quarter or N50 million a month.
Mark and Ekweremadu earns in 4 months, six times what the UK Prime Minister earns in a year. David Cameron goes home with £190,000 per annum (N43, 700,000)
The Senate has allocated N1, 024,000,000 as quarterly allowance to its 10 principal officers, known collectively as the Senate leadership – Each of the eight other principal officers take home N78 million every three months or N26 million per month.
Besides, for this year, the Senate has voted N2.6 billion for local travel, N2.45 billion (foreign travel), N1.25 million (security), N2.28 billion (contingency), N750 million (guest houses for Mark and Ekweremadu), and N500 million (establishment of radio and television stations).
Even according to a new, reduced remuneration packages for public officers fixed by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in Abuja ordered by former President Umaru Yar’adua, Senators and members of the House of Representatives will walk away with N4.7 billion every year from the lean Federal treasury as basic salaries and regular allowances while many more billions will be spent on their non-regular allowances. 
Based on the new package, each of the 107 senators (excluding the Senate President and his deputy) will collect N11 million in basic salaries and regular allowances every year while a member of the House of Representatives will get N9.9 million. Previously, a senator was getting N17 million while a House member was collecting N14.99 million.
The regular allowances are accommodation, car maintenance, domestic staff, personal assistant, entertainment, leave, utilities, newspaper/periodicals and constituency. These figures do not include non-regular allowances–vehicle loan, furniture allowance, estacode, duty tour allowance and severance gratuity–which are paid separately to each legislator as they become due.
Under the new pay package, each senator is entitled to N3 million as furniture allowance and N5 million as car loan once every four years, and is also entitled to N6 million as severance gratuity after the “successful” completion of his/her tenure. Also, a senator is also to collect N23, 000 per day when on official trip as duty tour allowance, and $600 per day as estacode when on foreign trip.
A member of the House is entitled to N744, 454 furniture allowance and N4.96 million car loan once every four years, while a Rep’s severance package is N5.96 million, estacode, $550 and duty tour allowance, N21, 000.
The new packages were prepared by RMAFC following a letter by President Umaru Yar’adua asking the commission to slash remuneration packages of political, public and judicial officers given the nation’s dwindling revenues.
Based on the constitution, RMAFC has the final say on the remuneration package of National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly members, while a law need to be enacted based on the commission’s proposals regarding the pay packages of executive and judicial office holders.
Also writing on ‘A feeding frenzy’ Okey Ndibe wrote:
There’s a looting frenzy going on in Abuja, and Nigerians should be hopping mad about it.
Last week, NEXT’s Musikilu Mojeed and Elor Nkereuwem gave an enlightening, if disturbing, account of the obscene sums of cash carted home by the looters who misbaptize themselves lawmakers. In reading their report, aptly titled “An Assembly for Looting,” one realized the truth of what one always suspected: that Nigeria is a veritable demo-crazy.
What’s a demo-crazy? It is quite simply a space run by criminals who mask themselves as devotees of democracy. Mojeed and Nkereuwem’s report informed readers that Nigerian “politicians have turned themselves into instant millionaires just for being members of the National Assembly, paying themselves salaries and allowances that will make Bill Gates envious.” My initial response was that the reporters were trading in hyperbole. But that’s hardly the case.
Here are some of the miffing facts in their report. Four times this year, each of the 360 members of the House of Representatives will receive ₦35 million as “constituency allowance.” In conservative terms, that’s $300,000 per member per quarter. At the end of the year, then, each member of the House would have collected a cool $1.2 million.
If this figure has made you dizzy – or put you in a tizzy – hold on a minute until you hear this one. Each of the 109 senators collects ₦48 million per quarter. At the end of the year, each senator’s haul will be in the neighborhood of $1.7 million. That’s not a bad sum for doing – little to nothing.
In case you’re wondering, these legislators gobble enough cash to give pocket money to President Barack Obama. Obama’s salary is $400,000 per annum. That’s less than what each Nigerian senator “eats” each quarter.
Mind; this gargantuan “constituency allowance” comes on top of salaries and other sundry allowances by the Abuja “lootocrats.” As a former member of the National Assembly told me, there’s no requirement that the legislators explain how they spend their so-called “constituency” funds.
“Throughout the four years I spent in the House,” said this former representative, who asked for anonymity, “I don’t know of one member who used the money to do anything serious in his or her constituency. The cash was pocketed.” The two reporters took care to give readers some perspective. “If you are a civil servant, police officer or school teacher,” they wrote, “and you earn ₦48, 000 a month, you will have to work for more than 83 years just to earn what your Senator is taking away.” And that’s just what the senator takes to his bank every three months.
This duo of enterprising reporters made the looting vivid. Considering that Nigeria’s minimum wage stands at ₦5, 500 a month, each senator’s quarterly allowance “will pay for 2,909 workers earning the minimum wage.” The reporters offered other tantalizing projections. If Nigerians were to fire the entire membership of the National Assembly, the savings would be more than enough to “fund the N88.5billion” Mr. Umaru Yar’Adua budgeted this year for building power plants.
Alternatively, we could “fund hospitals and clinics” all over Nigeria, “fix the Benin-Ore Expressway, which has collapsed, or make a significant down payment on the Lagos-Kano railway line.” Why wait? I personally can’t find much sense in retaining legislators who guzzle such stupendous sums and render mediocre lawmaking. These legislators abdicate even the basic responsibility of screening candidates for cabinet positions. Where hard questions demand to be asked, our supine legislators invite many a candidate to “bow and go.”
Nigeria’s know that their legislature is dominated by riff raff who got smuggled into their seats by a ruling party that regards elections as do-or-die warfare. A good number of them hardly understand the rudiments of legislative business. Watch a televised legislative session and you conjecture that many of these “bow and go” impostors won’t even make the effort to show up.
In close to ten years of a “nascent” freak show we call democracy; the National Assembly is yet to pass a law that even attempted to make a dent on the issues of deepening poverty or stubborn culture of corruption. They are not of the tribe of the poor, and most of them are fully embedded in the bog of corruption.
Yet, these men and women have the cheek – the shameless gut – to plaster themselves with inflated appellations like “Honorable” and “Distinguished Senator.” If this is the cost of the strange beast called democracy, then Nigerians ought to refuse to pay it.
Ideally, legislators should be paid sitting allowances and hired on a part-time basis. It happens in several states in the U.S. If we remove the allure of easy cash, we’re likely to see an improvement in the quality of lawmakers. The leeches who are in it for the cash will take their game elsewhere.
It’s time to say to these parasites: “Take a bow and go – home!”
What a drain: also do not forget the under the table sharing and Ghana must go bags – I have a friend who was a former assistant to a former senator who was sent to collect an envelope containing $500,000 for sharing amongst about 5 to 6 senators i guess to favour a particular outcome”. 
Yet they are asking for more: If you don’t take our word for it, read Thisday of June 14, 2010
As the issue of the proposed hike in the quarterly allowances for members of the House of Representatives continues to generate heat, their Upper House counterparts have started agitating for a similar raise.
THISDAY checks last night revealed that several senators have launched a campaign for a 100 per cent increase in their individual share of the quarterly disbursements said to have been “built” into the 2010 budget.
The increase, if agreed to by the Senate leadership, would see the allocations jump from N45 million to N90 million per senator per quarter.
Shortly before they proceeded on their two-week recess, one of the arrow heads of the pro-100 per cent quarterly allowance hike sent out text messages to his colleagues, asking them to mount pressure on  the leadership to increase their quarterly allowances.
In the text message, the Senator said to come from one of the North central states, maintained that there is enough money in the pool of the Senate to finance the upward review.
The ring leader added in his text message that “if the pressure on the Senate President was sustained, he would cave in and agree to our request especially since this is an election year and Senators need more money for election purposes.”
Officially, the Revenue Mobilisaion Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has awarded Senators an annual basic salary of N2, 484,242.50 (two million, four hundred and eighty four thousand, two hundred and fourty two naira, fifty kobo) with other allowances like accommodation 200 per cent of basic annual salary; vehicle maintenance 75 per cent; entertainment 30 per cent and utility allowance 30 per cent of basic.
Other allowances calculated as a percentage of basic salary are: personal assistant 25 per cent; wardrobe 25 per cent; domestic staff 75 per cent; recess 10 per cent; newspapers 15 per cent and constituency allowance 250 per cent.
Other occasional allowances and perks consist of furniture allowances which is 300 per cent of annual basic salary but payable only once in tenure at the commencement of duty; severance gratuity after their tenure in office at 300 per cent while vehicle loan was pegged at 400 per cent and repayable in six years.
Over all, each senator is entitled to a gross annual salary of N22, 606,606.75 or N1, 883,882.9 per month.
However, in the past few years, the Senators have received an extra N48 million every quarter, according, to a principal officer although some other Senators insisted that it is only N45 million that is regularly credited into their bank accounts.
It was however, gathered that although the leadership was desirous of pleasing the members so as to maintain the peace that the chamber has enjoyed since 2007, there was disquiet because indications are that they may not be able to meet the demand.
A member of the opposing camp in the vanguard of getting the increment insisted that should the leadership fail to implement the raise, a crisis similar to the one currently faced in the House of Representative may surface.
Buttressing his point on the ability of the Senate leadership to pay the increment, the Senator presented the approved budget of the Senate for the 2010 fiscal year which he said, was seriously padded to cater for the Senators and supplement the ‘meagre salaries’ that they are paid according to RMAFC.
According to him, many of the expenditure items were made in triplicates to cater for the Senate, the House and the last would be devoted to causes like electricity or pay water rates or purchase of books for the library.
For instance, N200 million was approved for the National Assembly office to purchase information, video conferencing and printing equipment while yet another N500 million was approved for the same project for Senators.
National Assembly Office (NASS) has N108 million to settle electricity charges while Senate has yet N50 million for the same; NASS to spend N42, 592,000 on water rates, Senate got N3 million for same.
NASS got N52.5 million to purchase book and periodicals for the library, Senate got N166.2 million for the same project with Senate getting yet another expenditure sub-head of N300 million to purchase books and shelves and N25 million for an electronics library in the Senate President’s Office. Yet, the NASS office got another N100 million to purchase books for NASS library”.
Senate President David Mark alone takes N250 million quarterly or N83.33 million per month. Senate Deputy President Ike Ekweremadu gets N150 million per quarter or N50 million a month. Mark and Ekweremadu earns in 4 months, six times what the UK Prime Minister earns in a year. David Cameron goes home with £190,000 per anum (N43, 700,000)
The salary review of political office holders till date revealed that 17,474 officials earned N1.12 trillion yearly of the N1.12 trillion about N94, 959,545,401.20 billion is spent on salaries and N1, 031,654,689,033.18 trillion goes to allowances annually. 
While 16,540 out of the political officeholders, as revealed from the document emanating from the Presidency to the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) are expected to undergo a pay cut in line with former President Yar’adua’s proposal earlier in the year, this is yet to take effect.
The officers are: Federal Executive (472); Federal Legislature (1,152); Local Government Executive (3,096) and local government legislature (8,692).
According to the document, officers taken this large lump sum evidently, approximately 17,500 officials only constitute 0.014 per cent (less than a quarter of a percent) of Nigeria’s estimated 140 million people.
Again, it is common knowledge that the salaries of these officers amount to nothing compared to the juicy fringe benefits that accrue to them.
It could be recalled that ministers, advisers, legislators’ salaries were all jerked up in 2007 and 2008. While the members of National Assembly got 100% pay rise which would cost Nigerian tax payers N52.4 billion every year, and an additional N15.02 billion as multi-purpose allowances given to the lawmakers on quarterly basis, the package accruing to the federal executives had jumped by over 1,000 percent to N98 billion due to their allowances as compared N65.5 billion paid the federal executives during the last regime.
The last time Nigerian workers ever had an enhanced salary package was in 2000 when former President Olusegun Obasanjo announced the N5, 500 and N7, 500 minimum wages both for state and federal workers respectively.
Though the agreement with labour then was that there would be some percentage increment every two years, just as it applies in the private sector, this was not to be until several agitations before 15% was finally approved in 2005, thereby bringing the national minimum wage to N11, 300.
Between 2005 till date, workers have been made to suffer the worst form of economy degeneration as some states and parastatals only complied to pay the 15% barely a year ago.
President Yar’Adua had on February 10, 2009 in a memo to the commission, titled, “Need to review the certain political, public and judicial office holders (salaries and allowances, etc amendment) Act, 2008,” stated that “like other nations, our country has suddenly found itself a victim of the current global financial meltdown and unprecedented economic crises. 
A critical evaluation of the impact of the crises on our domestic economy shows that declining oil sales and shrinking foreign direct investment flows are twin threats to our ambitions development programmes. This can only be mitigated through a responsive review of recurrent costs to maintain the momentum of our development.
“It would be practically impossible and unrealistic for us to continue to implement the current provisions of the said Act. Indeed, it would amount to insensitivity on our part to continue to implement the Act under the circumstance.”
The President then, though belatedly, spoke the minds of majority of the masses who had been wallowing in abject poverty while watching political office holders live in opulence no matter how down turn the economy may appear to degenerate. This has constituted a source of concern more so, since most of the allowances earned by the political office holders are ridiculous and frivolous without justification.
There has been series of agitation for pay rise from different sectors of the economy. University dons who had just received a 52% increase in their salary had to go on a marathon four months industrial action which was equally complemented by other unions in the education sectors.
The NLC is currently demanding 52,200 new minimum wage demands for Nigerian workers.
NLC President, Comrade Abdulwahab Omar told Workforce that as far as the NLC is concerned, there is no basis for comparison as the officers in the past two years have had their salary jerked up between 100-200% and complemented with over 1,000 per cent increment in allowances.
Senators, Reps Gulp N4.7 Billion a Year – New Pay Package For National Assembly Members
House of Representatives members get a base salary of N9.9 million per year and
1.Basic salary/Regular allowances N11,145,200 N9,926,062
2.Furniture N3,039,600 N744,454
3.Motor Vehicle Loan N5,066,000 N4,963,031
4.Duty Tour Allowance N23,000 per day N21,000 per day
5.Estacode $600 per day $550 per day
6.Severance Gratuity N6,079,200 N5,955,637
In a report containing reviewed pay packages for federal, state and local government political, public and judicial office holders, RMAFC Chairman Hamman Tukur said the Federal, State and Local Governments flout the remuneration provisions made by the commission through frivolous foreign trips, arbitrary appointment of aides and use of excessively large motorcades.