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REVEALED: 469 lawmakers have 2,570 aides – and some earn N950,000/month

REVEALED: 469 lawmakers have 2,570 aides – and some earn N950,000/month
September 19
11:49 2016
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The 469 members of the 8th national assembly have at least 2,570 aides, an investigation by NAN has revealed.

Out of the number, 700 aides work for lawmakers in the senate, while the remaining 1,870 are engaged by house of representatives members.

In addition to the regular aides, the principal officers of both chambers have special assistants, senior special assistants and special advisers of varying numbers.

This category of aides, it was learnt, have a monthly salary of a minimum of N950,000 but was reduced to N400, 000 by the current management of the assembly. All the aides are paid from the coffers of the assembly.

As provided in the national assembly act, each lawmaker, excluding principal officers, is entitled to five aides – one senior legislative aide, two legislative aides, a personal assistant and a secretary.

It was discovered that in the provision, president of the senate is entitled to 45 aides, his deputy 30 and 20 each for principal officers.

Similarly, speaker of the house of representatives has 35 assistants, deputy speaker 15 and 10 each for the six principal officers.

The number of aides to each legislator, it was gathered, includes those in their constituency offices.

The monthly emolument of the aides, which ranged from N150,000 to N250,000, sources close to the assembly said, has been reduced to between N75,000 and N180,000 by the current leadership of the assembly.

However, NAN gathered that some of the lawmakers, especially principal officers, have more than the statutorily approved number of aides in their employ, who also draw their salary from the assembly’s funds.

Some lawmakers, however, pay the aides from their own resources.

It was also revealed that many legislators draw the emolument of their aides from the assembly’s funds but pay them fractions. Some of the lawmakers employed only one or two aides but are collecting the full salary for the five they are entitled to.

This act was discovered to be perpetrated more by the members through their constituency offices, which they are mandatorily expected to have in their areas but they deliberately don’t.

They submit names of non-existent staff in the constituency office to the national assembly service commission and collect their entitlements directly.

An aide to a senator from the south-west, working with him in Abuja, told NAN that he had never heard of other aides or office that his boss has in his constituency.

“All of us, his aides are here; it is only when he is travelling to the state that he goes with the senior legislative aide and his younger brother,” he said.

“The brother works with him; he is not documented but he is in charge whenever oga (the boss) is not around. But, all of us are always in the office in Abuja; I do not know of assistant or aide he has at the constituency level or in the state.”

The source declined to disclose his salary, allowance and pay point, but said the emolument depended on the grade of the aide.

He, however, disclosed that the least paid aide earned N120,000 from the assembly commission.

The lawmakers contacted on the issue declined to comment, with some of them saying they were complying with the rules.

The clerk of the national assembly and officials in his office also rebuffed enquiries on the issues.

Reacting to the findings by NAN, some stakeholders called for reduction in the number of aides working for federal lawmakers and a slash in their pay.

They told NAN that the reduction is necessary in view of the current economic challenges facing the country.

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6 Comments

  1. Austerity
    Austerity September 19, 12:49

    Austerity measures need apply on the leaders to move out of economic recession in Nigeria.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Austerity
    Austerity September 19, 12:53

    Austerity measures need apply on Nigerian leaders to move out of the economic recession in the country.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Ted
    Ted September 19, 13:01

    This is the major cause of the recession Nigeria is experiencing. A lot of offices should be scrapped. The over 2000 aides should be cancelled. I don’t understand why they need aides at such critical time.

    Reply to this comment
  4. JIL
    JIL September 19, 16:28

    I sincerely think we should have a rethink about this overbloated aide issue. However, I believe the searchlight on the national assembly is unfair. It’s a case of calling the dog a bad name in order to hang it.

    The body that conducted this “research” should have published information about that of other political office holders namely presidency, states and the (non-existence) local government. It is the same enabling law that specified the number of aids for Mr President, Governors and local governments chairmen that is referred to here for national assembly members.

    If we must get our bearing right, the whole system (not national assembly aspect only) need complete overhaul.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Marcel Ritz
    Marcel Ritz September 19, 23:52

    If the law provides for the aides what the heck is this about? If anyone feels bad about it, let them propose an amendment to the law or shut up.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Azuigbo
    Azuigbo September 20, 16:52

    When one reads what some Nigerians write, it makes one wonder how Nigerians reason. If the nations’s law makers are defrauding the system, where do you go for the redress? The problem I see with our reporters is that they are cowards. If you are going to publish an issue of this magnitude, be brave enough to provide enough facts with names and numbers so that we can determine the sources of our problems. Wishy washing is not reporting. No nation in the world with the magnitude of unemployment, starvation and suffering of the masses would tolerate such over bloated legislature and Nigerians just sit back and watch as a segment is living the life while the rest is barely surviving. It is mind bugling.

    Reply to this comment

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