The National Assembly management has commenced clearance of members of the Senate and the House of Representatives for payment and collection of severance packages, as the 9th Assembly winds down.
The Clerk of the House, Yahaya Danzaria, made this known in a notice to members at the plenary yesterday, reports The PUNCH.
The 9th Assembly, which was inaugurated on June 11, 2019, is expected to wind down by the first week of June, while the 10th Assembly is billed for inauguration on June 13, 2023.
The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, read out the Clerk’s notice to members on the floor.
Danzaria informed “all honourable members to collect their clearance forms for the payment of severance gratuity from the Office of the Clerk to the House and submit same after completion in Annex Room 2.154 or 2.031, Finance and Accounts Directorate on or before Friday, June 9, 2023.”
For the outgoing 9th Assembly, over N30bn has been budgeted for severance and welcome package for outgoing and incoming members and aides in the 2023 Appropriation Act.
Under statutory transfers, the National Assembly and its affiliate bodies will spend a total of N194,839,144,401 this financial year. The sum of N169bn was proposed for the federal bi-cameral legislature in the original bill.
Details of the National Assembly budget are as follows: Severance/inauguration of outgoing and incoming 9th and 10th Assembly (legislators and legislative aides) – N30,173,520,592; National Assembly Office, N30,492,518,529; Senate, N33,267,001,807; House of Representatives, N51,994,511,954; National Assembly Service Commission, N10,555,809,322; Legislatives Aides, N16,520,653,763; PAC – Senate, N118,970,215; and PAC – House of Representatives, N142,764,258.
Others are National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, N7,411,813,596; Service Wide Vote, N671,335,001; Office of Retired Clerks and Permanent Secretaries, N1,059,121,701; Appropriation Committee Department – Senate, N125,000,000; Appropriation Committee Department – House, N165,000,000; National Assembly Library building (ongoing), N4,250,000,000.
Also in the National Assembly budget is N11,307,475,470 allocated to General Services; hosting of Conference of Speakers of African Parliament, N127,500,000; NASS Liabilities, N8,500,000,000; NASS e-Library, N255,000,000; NASS Dashboard, N118,150,000; Constitution Review, N850,000,000; completion of NASS Library Complex (repeated), 7,500,000,000; completion of NILDS HQ, N2,500,000,000; and construction of NASC building, N10,000,000,000.
Meanwhile, severance benefits to retired heads of government agencies and parastatals will cost the country N1bn, while the entitlements of former presidents/heads of state and vice-presidents/Chief of General Staff was allocated N2.3bn.
The beneficiaries will include former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari; ex-military Heads of State, Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar and Yakubu Gowon; and former Vice-Presidents Atiku Abubakar and Namadi Sambo, among others.
The final pay in office for Buhari and ex-Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, state governors and other political appointees might cost the country about N64.72bn.
The figure also covered the pay for ministers, commissioners, National Assembly members, and special advisers.
It, however, did not include special assistants and state Assembly members.
The allocations by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission for salaries and allowances for one month, as well as severance gratuity (300 per cent of basic salary), were analysed to arrive at the figures.