Nigeria’s senate president said Wednesday each senator will receive $2,500 or 506,000 naira a year to spend on clothes and not the whopping $43 million or 8.64 billion naira reported by local media. Sen. Bukola Saraki of the All Progressives Congress (APC) clarified the amount after outrage erupted on social media over the annual wardrobe allowance for Nigeria’s newly-inaugurated National Assembly.
Chairman of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation & fiscal Commission was in my office to clarify wardrobe allowance. Amount is N506,600 per Sen
â€” Bukola Saraki (APC) (@bukolasaraki) June 17, 2015
Saraki said the government body responsible for setting lawmakers’ salaries and allowances was in the process of reviewing the matter and would publish details on its website. “I have asked them to do so in a matter of days and we should all follow up to keep them on their toes,” the senate president said on Twitter Wednesday.
Nigerian politicians have come under fire for taking home more than the amount officially approved for them. Nigeria, Africa’s richest and most populous nation, has some of the highest paid lawmakers in the world, earning up to $2 million a year or 397.9 million naira. More than 70 percent of the federal budget is spent on the salaries and benefits of about one million government officials, which leaves little revenue to help Nigerians living in poverty.
A spokesperson for the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) said last week the committee would “review the existing Remuneration Act; identify areas of wastages and abuse, examine the implementation of the monetization policy by ministries, departments and agencies and advise on the appropriate remuneration for political, public and judicial officers commensurate with the work they do.” The review was expected to be completed before the end of September, Nigerian newspaper Premium Times reported.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who was inaugurated last month, centered his campaign on battling government corruption. Former President Goodluck Jonathan and his once-ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost popularity in part due to allegations of corruption. Buhari has sworn to cut waste and hold public officials accountable as Nigeria’s economy suffers from inflation and a slump in global crude oil prices.