By Chuks Okocha in Abuja
At last, the management of the National Assembly has commenced payments of severance benefits to members of the 8th National Assembly.
At press time, some of the Senators have publicly announced that they have been paid their severance benefits.
All members of the National Assembly are entitled to 300 percent of their basic salary as severance benefits upon completion of their tenure or paid on pro rated basis based on when they assumed duties.
In one of such acknowledgments of the payment of their severance benefits, the Media Adviser to the former senate president in the eight senate, Yusuph Olaniyanu, said in his verified Tweeter handle, thus:
“This is to confirm that Ex-SP, Bukola Saraki has been paid his severance allowance. He got a total of N3,752,727.00. He has been working to ensure that his aides get theirs.
” And as you know, he had promised, to donate whatever the money is to three families that were announced”.
Former Senate President Saraki had directed the National Assembly management to distribute his severance package to families of three victims of the insurgency in the North East as well as cash-strapped children of late senators.
Although he did not mention a specific figure, it was, however, learnt that the Kwara ex-governor’s severance package was 300 per cent of his salary.
In the statement, Saraki explained that the pay should be used to support the families of Leah Sharibu, who is still being held by the Boko Haram sect for refusing to renounce her Christian faith, and two humanitarian workers abducted and subsequently murdered by the insurgents, Hussaini Ahmed Khoisan and Hauwa Liman.
Also to benefit from the money are children of late members of the Eight Senate who may require financial assistance in furtherance of their education, as a trust fund is to be established by the management of the National Assembly for that purpose.
Saraki stated that his decision was based on the fact that their cases represented some of the most touching humanitarian issues debated at plenary during his four-year reign in the upper legislative chamber.
According to him, 20 per cent of the fund is to be donated to the Sharibu family while 20 per cent goes to the Limans. Another 20 per cent is for the Khoisans.
The balance 40 per cent is for the National Assembly management to set up a trust fund to cater for the needy children of late lawmakers in the immediate past assembly.