The National Assembly management has taken steps to facilitate the payment and collection of severance packages for members of the Senate and the House of Representatives as the 9th Assembly nears its end.
In a notice delivered during a plenary session, Yahaya Danzaria, the Clerk of the House, informed the members about the initiation of the clearance process. The 9th Assembly, which commenced on June 11, 2019, is expected to conclude in the first week of June, making way for the inauguration of the 10th Assembly on June 13, 2023.
Danzaria urged all honorable members to collect their clearance forms for the payment of severance gratuity from the Office of the Clerk to the House. The completed forms should be submitted in Annex Room 2.154 or 2.031, Finance and Accounts Directorate, on or before Friday, June 9, 2023. This procedure ensures that the necessary administrative tasks are completed smoothly.
To accommodate the severance and welcome packages for both outgoing and incoming members and their aides, the 2023 Appropriation Act has allocated over N30 billion to the outgoing 9th Assembly. This financial provision demonstrates the significance placed on recognizing the contributions of legislators and their supporting staff during their tenure.
The National Assembly and its affiliated bodies are expected to utilize a total of N194,839,144,401 in the current financial year. The original bill proposed N169 billion for the federal bicameral legislature. A breakdown of the budget reveals the following details:
- 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
- Legislative Aides – N16,520,653,763
- PAC – Senate – N118,970,215
- PAC – House of Representatives – N142,764,258
Additionally, the budget includes allocations for various entities and projects related to the National Assembly. Noteworthy allocations consist of N11,307,475,470 for General Services, N7,411,813,596 for the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, N4,250,000,000 for the ongoing National Assembly Library building, and N10,000,000,000 for the construction of the NASC building, among others.
In a separate allocation, the retirement benefits for former heads of government agencies and parastatals will amount to N1 billion, while N2.3 billion has been earmarked for the entitlements of former presidents/heads of state and vice presidents/Chief of General Staff. Prominent individuals who will benefit from these provisions include former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, and Muhammadu Buhari, as well as ex-military Heads of State Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar, and Yakubu Gowon, and former Vice-Presidents Atiku Abubakar and Namadi Sambo.
Recent reports indicate that the final pay in office for President Buhari, ex-Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, state governors, and other political appointees may cost the country approximately N64.72 billion. However, this figure does not encompass special assistants and state Assembly members.
The allocation for salaries and allowances, along with a severance gratuity equivalent to 300% of the basic salary, was analyzed by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission to arrive at these estimates.