Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay SAN, has pointedly told the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan to stop misleading Nigerians over the actual salary of senators.
Sagay, who was responding to Senator Lawan’s comment that there was no such thing as ‘jumbo pay’, for senators who he insisted earns N750,000 as salary, said that contrary to Lawan’s claim, senators earn N15m monthly and not N750,000.
Sagay told the Punch on Wednesday that Nigerians are interested in the total monthly emoluments of senators that include salary and allowances.
The Legal Professor accused Lawan of speaking half-truth, adding that it is common knowledge that the bulk of the money earned by senators is embedded in their allowances.
In the words of Sagay; “He (Lawan) knows that nobody will take him seriously. I respect and like him but what he has done is to give half-truth. He is telling us the actual salary without mentioning anything about the allowances. That is where the jumbo pay comes in when you talk of building, furniture, domestic this or that, 15 items. And those items alone bring everything up to N13.5m a month. So, simply mentioning the basic salary, which brings it to over N14m, is not sufficient.
“So, technically, he’s right, that is their salary but, what is his income, take-home pay, at the end of the month? It’s about N15m and we are not including so many other things we need not talk about now.”
Sagay said the presiding officers of the National Assembly earn more than ordinary members and therefore requested the Senate President to come clean.
According to him; “Not only that; the leadership of the two houses earn a lot more — tremendous amounts. I don’t really want to go into issues not to create controversy but what he is saying now is pure technical truth about salary but not about allowances, which is where the jumbo really is.”
Sagay also said he is still trying to ascertain the allowances of principal officers, adding that what he has not been able to do is to give details of what the leadership earn.
In his words; “What they get — the current ones, that I have not been able to release. I have the details of the previous Session. They were mindboggling; we are talking of one person getting up to N280m a year in allowances for his position. But I don’t know what they had during the Saraki era or what the present group are going to award themselves.”