Drama in National Assembly as lawmakers prepare for N23.7bn severance package

Drama in National Assembly as lawmakers prepare for N23.7bn severance package

- Reports say some lawmakers at the eighth National Assembly are lobbying to have their unrecognised aides benefit from the N23.7 billion severance package

- The lawmakers, a report says, are lobbying based on an agreed 50-50 or 60-40 sharing formula with the affected aides

- The severance package was approved for the lawmakers as their benefit for serving in the eighth National Assembly

It has been learnt that some members of the National Assembly have commenced lobbying to include their unrecognised aides as beneficiaries in the N23.7 billion severance package for lawmakers of the eighth session.

Every four years, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives get severance packages and the total amount for eight National Assembly is put at N23.7 billion.

Daily Trust reports that sources claimed that the lobby commenced from some of the legislative aides who are not officially recognised and as a result, not entitled to benefit from the severance package.

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These set of staff are reported to be outside the ‘consolidated aides’ officially recognised by the National Assembly and who are entitled to severance packages.

Daily Trust reports that each member of the National Assembly is officially allowed to have four aides while the principal officers have more.

Some lawmakers, however, have more aides outside the officially recognised four.

The report quoted a legislative aide to one of the lawmakers as saying that some of the aides agreed with the lawmakers on either 50-50 or 60-40 sharing deal should the lobbying yield positive result.

The aide said: “Some of these aides, even though not officially entitled to benefit from the money, have entered into agreement with their masters to access the money, and then collect a certain percentage at the end of the day.

“This is not a new practice here (National Assembly) but the only difference now is that the pressure and lobby is becoming more intense.”

The N23.7 billion approved in the 2019 budget covered both severance packages for outgoing lawmakers of the eighth Assembly and the allowances for incoming ones and their aides.

It also covers the induction and inauguration of the ninth Assembly.

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Severance package, according to the report, is calculated as 300% of annual salaries for the beneficiaries.

It also noted that the remuneration package for political, public and judicial office holders from February 2007 to date and published by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) approves a severance package of N7.5 billion for the Senate president and N6 billion for the speaker of the House of Representatives.

Legit.ng earlier reported how Mapida Ikwurunyi, coordinator, Justice Frontier Forum, said recently that Governor Mohammed Bindow of Adamawa and his aides have the right to receive severance allowances.

Ikwurunyi made the clarification on Thursday, April 2 while briefing newsmen in Yola the Adamawa state capital.

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Source: Legit.ng

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