The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, SAN, has criticised the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan for misleading Nigerians on the actual take-home pay of federal legislators.
Lawan had on Tuesday claimed that his monthly salary is N750,000 and that there was no such thing as ‘jumbo pay’. But Sagay said Nigerians are more interested in how much senators take home monthly in salary and allowance, insisting that each senator receives about N15, million monthly as salary and allowances.
He said Lawan was only speaking half-truth because everyone knows that the bulk of the money earned by senators is embedded in their allowances.
“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 N13.5 million a month. So, simply mentioning the base salary, which brings it over N14 million, is not sufficient.
“So, technically, he is right, that is their salary. But what is his income, take-home pay, at the end of the month? It is about N15 million and we are not including so many other things we need not talk about now.’’
The senior advocate said the presiding officers of the National Assembly earn more than ordinary members and asked Lawan to come clean.
“Not only that; that 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 said.
The PACAC chairman, who was the first to expose the jumbo pay of federal lawmakers, said he is still trying to ascertain the allowances of principal officers.
“What I have not been able to do is give details of what the leadership earn. There is the leadership aspect that I have not revealed — the excess that the Senate leader (president) and deputy Senate leader, leader of the house; the same thing applies to the House of Representatives.