No fewer than 2,570 aides are engaged by members of the 8th National Assembly, totaling 469, an investigation by the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, has revealed.
Out of the number, 700 aides work for lawmakers in the Senate, while the remaining 1, 870 are engaged by House of Representatives members.
As provided in the National Assembly Act, each lawmaker, excluding principal officers, is entitled to five aides – one senior legislative aide, two legislative aides, a personal assistant and a secretary.
It was discovered that in the provision, President of the Senate is entitled to 45 aides, his deputy, 30 and 20 each for principal officers.
Similarly, Speaker of the House of Representatives has 35 assistants, Deputy Speaker, 15 and 10 each for the six principal officers.
The number of aides to each legislator, it was gathered, includes those in their Constituency offices.
The monthly emolument of the aides, which ranged from N150, 000 to N250, 000, sources close to the assembly said, has been reduced to between N75, 000 and N180, 000 by the current leadership of the assembly asides Special Assistants, Senator Special Assistants and Special Advisers..
Checks by NigerianBulletin showed that at an average salary of N100,000 per month, the 2570 aides would received about N257 mllion naira monthly.
However, NAN gathered that some of the lawmakers, especially principal officers, have more than the statutorily approved number of aides in their employ, who also draw their salary from the assembly’s funds.
Some lawmakers, however, pay the aides from their own resources.
It was also revealed that many legislators draw the emolument of their aides from the assembly’s funds but pay them fractions. Some of the lawmakers employed only one or two aides but are collecting the full salary for the five they are entitled to.