National Assembly Sources Opens Up On Number, Salary Of Dogara’s Aides
Claims by a national newspaper that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara maintains 170 aides in his office with huge amount of salary has been countered by sources in the National Assembly.
?Investigation by Abusidiqu.com and communication with several sources in the National Assembly revealed that the actual number of appointees in the speaker’s office is below the reported figure.
A source placed the number at 35, and that many of those appointed by the Speaker are actually serving in the offices of respective principal officers in the House of Representatives.
Those who spoke to Abusidiqu on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorised to do so said that not only is the number of the Speaker’s aides below 170, they added that the reported remuneration was also “grossly inflated”, as personal assistants, legislative aides and senior legislative aides within the National Assembly earn between N50,000 – N120,000.
“There is a huge negative perception surrounding the National Assembly”, one of our sources, who happens to be a legislator, said.
“Nigerians say a lot about the National Assembly but look at an agency like PTAD where the DG was earning N60million; nobody paid attention to that. Dogara does not have 170 aides; to the best of my knowledge, the National Assembly places a restriction at 35 aides for the Speaker so you have to wonder where all these stories are coming fromn the legislature added.”
Another source, an administrative staff in the National Assembly, told Abusidiqu.com that the budget has been so drastically reduced over past administrations that neither the Senate President nor the Speaker can have so many aides as there would be no way to pay their wages.
“Our budget used to be N150 billion. In previous assemblies, the presiding officers had so many aides and there was a lot of resources at our disposal to cater for them. Now that the budget has been cut twice to N120 billion then N115 billion, you can imagine how difficult it would be to sustain that. I can authoritatively tell you that there is no way there are 282 aides because or budget can simply not support it. As it is, the Speaker has 35 aides, that I’m sure of”, the source said.
Another source said that “just like in the Presidency where the President appoints aides who work in the VP’S office, in the National Assembly, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House also appoint aides for their principal officers.
These principal officers the source added include their deputies, majority leader, minority leader, and whip.
“I sincerely doubt the number of aides is up to 282 in both chambers, anyway, but if there’s a high number at all, then that is probably the reason, and most of those appointed will be personal assistants and legislative aides who generally earn below N120,000.”
For now, we have not obtained the list of all appointed aides and will provide updates as more facts emerge