Senate President Akpabio Stirs Controversy After Gaffe Revealing Payment of Senators’ ‘Holiday Allowance’





Godswill Akpabio, the president of the Nigerian senate, made a mistake during plenary when he said that senators had received money to "enjoy" their break.


On social media, a video clip of Mr. Akpabio making the error has gone viral.


The video first appeared on Wednesday.


According to reports, the event took place on Monday following the senators' completion of their review and ratification of President Bola Tinubu's candidates for ministerial positions.


Later, the senators postponed the plenary until September 26.


Before an adjournment motion was made at the conclusion of the Senate's ministerial screening, Mr. Akpabio began to address his colleagues. He had forgotten that the proceedings were being aired live.



“In order to enable all of us to enjoy our holidays, a token has been sent to our various accounts by the Clerk of the National Assembly,” he said.


His colleagues promptly alerted the senate president that he was speaking on live television.


He swiftly declared the withdrawal of his words after realizing their gravity.


“I withdraw that statement,” he said.


“In order to allow you to enjoy your holiday, the senate president has sent prayers to your mailboxes to assist you to go on a safe journey and return,” Mr Akpabio rephrased the comment, apparently to correct what was considered an embarrassment.


The amount that was sent to the senators remains unknown. However, the salaries and allowances of National Assembly members are often shrouded in secrecy.


The 'vacation' allowance that Mr. Akpabio said was given to MPs is not recognized by the law. There are no "holiday" allowances or token provisions in the compensation package for parliamentarians that the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMARC) approved.


However, the legislation grants lawmakers a right to a once-a-year payment of a recess allowance, which is equal to 10% of each legislator's basic yearly income.


Mr Akpabio may have, in his comment, referred to that ‘recess allowance’ as “holiday allowance”.




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