An addition of 111 new seats in the Federal and State House of Assemblies as proposed by the National Assembly may cost another N1.2 billion pumped into that area of government expenses from taxpayers’ money on a monthly basis, The PUNCH reported.
The Federal House of Representatives is already considering the bill that seeks to Alter the Provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, to create Additional Special Seats for Women in the Federal and States Legislative Houses; and for Related Matters.’
The bill which was only introduced by the Deputy Chief Whip, Nkeiruka Onyejeo and 85 other members last week has passed the second reading.
Currently, the Senate has 109 seats, while the House has 360. An additional seat for each state including the FCT, making 37 extra seats, will bring the total seats to 146 while two additional seats in the House of Representatives in each state as well as the FCT, making an additional 74 seats, will make it a total of 434.
As of 2019, information gathered from estimation done after members of the 8th National Assembly disclosed some details of the lawmakers’ remuneration revealed that a Senator earned N700,000 as basic salary and N13.5m as running cost (including allowances), totalling N14.4m.
Each of the 36 states has three Senate seats each and a representative of the Federal Capital Territory, while membership of the House is based on the population size of each state.
If the 9th national assembly has maintained the same welfare package for members, an additional 37 senators would earn N532.8m monthly while the additional 74 representatives would get N673.4m per month.
Cumulatively, it would cost the country another N1,206,200,000 to run the National Assembly if the 111 seats are created.