No fewer than twenty-one senators and ministers who are presently receiving salaries from their states as former governors, deputy governors as well as ministers are at the same time collecting salaries and allowances as members of the National Assembly and ministers.
This was disclosed by the Programme Director, African Centre for Leadership and Development, Mrs Victoria Ose Udoh, at a one day workshop on salaries and emoluments of National Assembly members held at Regview Hotel, Kaduna on Thursday.
She said those collecting double salaries are the Senate President (even though he has directed the Kwara State House of Assembly to stop his salaries), Rabiu Kwankwaso, Kabir Gaya, Goodwill Akpabio, Theodore Orji, Abdullahi Adamu, Sam Egwu, Shaaba Lafiagi, Joshua Dariye and Jonah Jang.
Others are Ahmed Sani Yarima, Danjuma Goje, Bukar Abba, Adamu Aliero, George Akume Miss Biodun Olujimi, Enyinaya Abaribe, Rotimi Amaechi, Kayode Fayemi, Chris Ngige and Babatunde Fashola.
For instance, she said the different state laws had indicated that a former governor in Lagos enjoys the following benefits for life: two houses, one in Lagos and Abuja estimated to cost between N500m and N700m, 300 per cent of annual salary to be paid every two years and N2.5m pension among others.
While, in Rivers, a former governor and his deputy, enjoy one residential house for governor anywhere of his choice in the country, while for the deputy anywhere in the state and 300 per cent annual basic salary among others.
“In Akwa Ibom State, the law provides for N200m annual pay for former governors. Similarly, in Kano, the law provides for 100 per cent of annual basic salaries, six bedroom house and a 30-day vacation within and outside the country.
“In Gombe state, there is N300m executive pension benefits for ex-governors. In Kwara 300 per cent of his salary as furniture allowance, five personal staff. In Sokoto, a former governor receives N200m as his entitlements.”
According to her, the disclosure made by Senator Shehu Sani has serious implications for public accountability in the country, saying, “we must commend him that for the first time since May 1999, the senator revealed the huge emoluments of the senators.
Nonetheless, Udoh noted that this was happening at a time when workers are owed arrears of salaries and the masses groaning under a recession.
However, in his paper titled ‘Fiscal transparency of annual payments of salaries and pensions for members of the National Assembly’, the guest lecturer, Ambassador Chibuzor Okereke, remarked that even though the senators were not to blame for their emoluments but they have a moral duty to do the right thing.