Nigerian legislators are highest paid in the world -The Economist

By The Citizen

A report by The Economist magazine has revealed that Nigerian federal legislators with a basic salary of $189,500 per annum (N30.6m) are the highest paid lawmakers in the world.

Quoting data from the International Monetary Fund and The Economist magazine of London, the study looked at the lawmakers' basic salary as a ratio of the Gross Domestic Product per person across countries of the world.

According to the report, the basic salary (which excludes allowances) of a Nigerian lawmaker is 116 times the country's GDP per person of $1,600.

The $189,500 earned annually by each Nigerian legislator is estimated to be 52 per cent higher than what Kenya legislators, who are the second highest paid lawmakers, earned.

The National Assembly has, however, rejected the report that its members are the highest paid lawmakers in the world.

While reacting to the report published in The Economist magazine on Monday, the spokespersons of the two chambers of the National Assembly described it as grossly exaggerated.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Information and Media, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, said the report was misleading and incorrect.

He said it was easy for anyone to verify what Nigerian lawmakers earned given that such information could be obtained from the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

Abaribe said, 'My reaction is that the report is incorrect. It is very easy for anybody to know what we earn by going to the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

'The report is not correct because it did not emanate from the RMAFC, because that is the only body that determines what a lawmaker earns.'

In the same vein, the spokesman of the House of Representatives, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, dismissed the report as incorrect.

He said, 'Whatever is being written is mere exaggeration and does not reflect what is accurate. They fail to realise that what we take as salaries are different from what we use in running our offices.

'These are two different issues. Most times, people just lump everything together and claim that it is our monthly salary; that is not correct. At the appropriate time, we shall react, because it is not just about the House but the National Assembly. The National Assembly will react at the right time.'

The report had suggested that a Nigerian federal lawmaker earned $189,000 or about N30m annually.

The magazine also published details of the annual salaries of legislators in other countries, some of which include Ghana, $46,500; Indonesia, $65,800; Thailand, $43,800; India, $11,200; Italy, $182,000;  Bangladesh, N4,000; Israel, $114,800; Hong Kong, $130,000; Japan, $149,700; and Singapore, $154,000. – Punch