The disclosure was made in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Head of Public Relations at RMAFC, Ibrahim Mohammed.
The RMAFC spokesperson said the clarification became imperative in view of the recent revelation by one of the senators, Mr. Shehu Sani, who said each senator collects a monthly running cost of N13.5 million in addition to the monthly salary of N750,000.00.
According to RMAFC, the law on salaries and allowances of public office holders is very clear and as such it is only the management of the National Assembly Service Commission that can explain the N13.5 million running cost allegedly being enjoyed by each senator as the Act only covers salary and allowances but not running cost.
He said: “A closer look at the monthly entitlement of senators reveals that each of them collects salary and allowances to the sum of N1,063,860:00 consisting of the following: basic, N168,866:70; motor vehicle fuelling and maintenance allowance N126,650:00; personal assistant N42,216:66; domestic staff-126,650:00; entertainment, N50,660:00; utilities, N50,660:00; newspapers/periodicals, N25,330:00; wardrobe, N42,216,66:00; house maintenance, N8,443.33:00; and constituency, N422,166:66.
“It is instructive to note that some allowances are regular while others are non-regular. Regular allowances are paid regularly with basic salaries while non-regular allowances are paid as at when due.
“For instance, furniture allowance (N6,079,200:00); and severance gratuity (N6,079,200:00) are paid once in every tenure while motor vehicle loan-(N8,105,600:00) is optional which the beneficiary has to offset before leaving office. The payment of running cost is not part of RMAFC mandate, therefore only the National Assembly can explain it.”
It added that “any other payments enjoyed by any political, or public office holders outside those provided in the Remuneration Act of 2008 were not known to the commission and the chief accounting officer of the agencies concerned should explain them.”
To avoid misinformation and misrepresentation of facts capable of misleading citizens and members of the international community, the commission advised Nigerians and any other interested party to avail themselves of the opportunity to access the actual details of the present remuneration package for political, public and judicial office holders in Nigeria published on its official website.
Reacting to this, the upper legislative chamber insisted that the N13.5 million monthly running cost for each senator was legal and provided for in the Appropriations Act.
The Senate Spokesman, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, said the statements made by his colleague, Shehu Sani, on the salaries and funds for the running of offices of senators did not disclose anything new as the figure he gave out was contained in various line items and expenditure heads of the budget of the National Assembly which have been made public.