• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
businessday logo


Lawmakers’ pay not jumbo; I earned N400k monthly, N25 million allowance – Ex-speaker Dogara

Former speaker Dogara symbol of unity, development in the northeast – Solomon

Yakubu Dogara, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, has clarified that his total allowance was N25 million, with a monthly salary of N400,000 during his tenure as the leader of the 8th lower legislative chamber.

This clarification aims to address the public perception that federal lawmakers earn exorbitant salaries and emoluments.

Speaking in Abuja at a two-day open week public engagement organised by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Dogara emphasised the importance of allowing legislators to work without excessive financial demands from the public.

He noted that misconceptions about lawmakers’ earnings have tarnished the National Assembly’s image, often resulting in them being labeled as “thieves” at public events.

Dogara said, “While I was Speaker, my salary was N400,000 and my total allowance was N25m. I told my accountant to open a separate account for the allowances and I never for once took any money out of that account. Everything that came into that account was used to cater to the needs of my constituents.”

He added that due to high demand, his accountant occasionally had to borrow funds to meet the needs of constituents, with the borrowed amounts repaid once allowances were deposited.

“I am saying this so Nigerians will give their legislators a breathing space and know that the narrative is not true about members’ pay,” Dogara said.

Also speaking at the event, Kaduna State Governor Uba Sani voiced support for the establishment of state police, citing the deteriorating security situation across the country.

“When I left the 9th Assembly as a senator, there were some very important pieces of legislation that I thought needed to be looked into by the 10th Assembly. Number one is the creation of state police but I am happy that the House of Representatives is leading the charge for the creation of state police,” Sani said.

He also urged federal lawmakers to revisit the Fire Arms Act, highlighting the alarming number of illegal arms in circulation.

“In Nigeria today, we have the highest number of illegal arms in circulation. According to the United Nations, we have over 350m illicit arms illegally in circulation in the West Africa sub-region. More than 70 per cent of those illicit arms are domiciled in Nigeria and I think it is important to look into the Fire Arms Act because it is obsolete and not in line with global best practice,” the governor said.

Sani also called for urgent action on the issue of out-of-school children in Nigeria, noting that the country has the highest number globally. He emphasised the need for financial inclusion for vulnerable populations and robust legislation to tackle poverty and unemployment.