The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday released his salary payslip that shows he earns about N402,500 monthly.
Mr. Dogara released the payslip in response to a challenge by the Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufa’i, who on Monday released details of his state’s finances.
Mr. el-Rufa’i had challenged the Speaker to make the details of the National Assembly’s N115 billion budget public.
Although Mr. Dogara has promised to do so in 2017, he only released his personal salary details on Monday.
The released amount is different from the quarterly ‘illegal’ office running cost, about N15 million, that each lawmaker is believed to be receiving.
In releasing the speaker’s salary payslip on Tuesday, the House of Representatives spokesperson, Abdulrazak Namdas, also said what Mr. el-Rufa’i published was his state’s security budget and not his security vote.
Mr. Namdas, Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, stated this in a news briefing in Abuja.
He said that Mr. el-Rufa’i was undermining and distracting the national assembly by his claims that the N115 billion in the legislature’s 2016 budget was for the 469 members.
According to him, the budget covers among others, salaries, allowances, expenditure and running cost of 469 members.
“Salaries and allowances of about 3, 000 legislative aides and salaries, allowances, equipment and maintenance of about 5, 000 staff in the bureaucracy of the national assembly,” Mr. Namdas said.
He urged the governor to concentrate on governing Kaduna State, particularly addressing security issues facing the state.
Mr. Namdas said “as a senior citizen, el-Rufa’i should not overheat the polity with tendentious and unfounded outbursts.
“We note that what Mallam el-Rufa’i published was the security budget of Kaduna state and not his security vote expenditure.
“We wish to advise the Kaduna State governor to concentrate on his efforts in governing Kaduna State and stop undermining and distracting the national assembly in playing its constitutionally assigned role in nation building.
“He launched an attack on the national assembly on Friday, April 7, 2017 and continued on Monday, April 10, 2017.
“We are aware that there are serious security issues he should be grappling with in southern Kaduna and other governmental issues facing him,” Mr. Namdas said
According to him, the national assembly is not opaque and since the constitution was amended in 2010, the legislature was put in a first line charge.
“Its budget became part of statutory transfers, together with the Judiciary, INEC and others.
“You cannot find details of the Budget of the Judiciary and INEC in the national budget.
“It exists elsewhere. Of course, from 1999 to 2010, the detail of the national assembly budget was contained in the national budget,” Mr. Namdas added.
He said that the Clerk to the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, was directed to start publishing the budget from 2017.
He said “to continue to repeat the same call made three days earlier smacks of propaganda and cheap blackmail.
“The Kaduna state governor chose to give headings of its budget on security related matters.
“Maybe, he will give further details of actual security expenditures at the appropriate time.
“It is most uncharitable to ignore the fact that the national assembly is an arm of government, not a department in the executive branch.
“Such agencies are Nigerian Communications Commission, N102 billion; Central Bank of Nigeria, N421 billion and the Nigerian Ports Authority, N250 billion.
“Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, N100billion; Federal Inland Revenue Service, N146 billion; Nigerian Customs Services, N81 billion and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation whose budget runs into trillions.
“Indeed, the National Assembly Budget is about two per cent of the national budget,’’ Mr. Namdas said.