By Omar Bah
Members of the Sixth Legislature have all received a one-off payment of D100, 000 clothing allowance,The Standard has been reliably informed.
The payment, which was effected after the new NAMs took oath in mid-April, is earmarked to improve their wardrobes for the duration of their term.
This is the first time National Assembly Members are benefitting from clothing allowance, a move tabled and adopted by members of the Fifth Legislature.
A former NAM told The Standard that parliamentarians were not happy with the arrangements they found in terms of benefits and remuneration.
“So, we had to push for better salaries and other benefits like the clothing allowance and Constituency Development Fund (CDF),” the former NAM said.
The lawmakers will also receive D45, 000 as basic salary. This is however way less than what members of parliament in Senegal receive as monthly salary, which is around CFA3 million, equivalent to D246, 000 while the Speaker receives CFA 5 million, equivalent to D410, 000, every month.
The Speaker of the National Assembly will receive – £350 (D23,187.50), Deputy Speaker £325 (D 21,531.25) and NAMs and Clerk £300 (D19,875) per diem whenever they travel outside of the country on official duties.
All the National Assembly Members will be given a loan of over D1 million to buy vehicles and they will be deducted every month to repay 50 percent while the National Assembly will pay the other 50 percent from its budget.
Members in various committees will be paid monthly sitting allowances as follows; Chairperson – D25, 000 and other members D20, 000; constituency allowance for elected or responsibility allowance for nominated members – D25, 000, house rent – D10, 000 and travel/transport allowance – D40, 000.
Sitting allowance is paid to members after every session as follows; Speaker & Deputy Speaker – D30, 000 and members D25, 000. Members will also receive committee sitting allowance (three sittings per committee monthly) – Chairperson – D2, 500, vice chairperson – D2, 000, members – D1, 500 and subject matter specialist – D2, 000.
Lawmakers are also to be paid tour allowance whenever they meet outside the office premises or go on site visits. Members will receive D2, 500, subject matter specialist – D2, 000 and support staff D1, 500 per day.
All elected members are entitled to Constituency Development Fund (CDF). An amount of D300, 000 was earmarked for the Fifth Legislature for the implementation of targeted projects. The money is not given to NAMs in cash but through projects.
“The D300, 000 was just for a start because we budgeted for D1 million or at least D500, 000. I am not sure whether the current legislature will pursue that,” a former MP, who knows all about the CDF, told The Standard.
He said NAMs will identify projects and write proposals to the National Assembly explaining how they want to implement them and the amount involved.
“You will also be required to produce proforma invoices of at least three different businesses about the materials you intend to purchase and the assembly procurement committee will vet and make recommendations before the money is disbursed,” the ex-NAM said.
At the end of a five-year term, members are expected to be paid gratuity which is normally calculated by multiplying 25% to the total of emolument for the five-year period. This is however subjected to change anytime there are changes in the payscale.
According to the National Assembly service rules, only members who completed two terms are eligible for pensions.