The Senate yesterday confirmed the disclosure by Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna) that each senator receives N13.5m monthly as running cost.
This is a confirmation of a Daily Trust investigative report on the running cost of the Federal lawmakers. Headlined, “Senators, Reps share N46bn annually as running cost”, the Daily Trust report was published on October 10, 2016. The report was based on the running cost of the 469 lawmakers at both the Senate and House of Representatives.
Senate spokesperson, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger) in a statement, tagged: “Senators’ Salary: Shehu Sani said nothing new” said salaries and allowances of senators are well captured in various line times.
Sani in an interview with the News Magazine said he and his colleagues receive N13.5m monthly as running cost.
“But what I am saying is that that money (N13.5 million per month) must be receipted for what you do with it. But what you are given to go and spend without any accountability is N750,000.00.
“The constituency project itself is given on a zonal basis and almost every senator will go with a constituency fund of about N200 million, but it is not the cash that is given to you.
“You will be told that you have N200 million with an agency of government for which you will now submit projects equivalent to that amount. And it is that agency of government that will go and do those projects for you,” he said.
The Senate spokesman said the figures about running cost were contained in the budget of the National Assembly, which has been made public.
He dismissed insinuations that Sani’s colleagues were unhappy with him and said if people had looked critically at the budget of the National Assembly, which has since been made public, they would have seen that various line items like travelling, medicals, consultancy and the rest were captured in the budget and they were the funds divided for each senator’s use.
“Almost all holders of elective and appointive offices have running costs allocated to their offices and that cannot be said to be part of their salaries”, Abdullahi said.