Damilola Oyedele with agency report
The senator representing Kaduna Central in the National Assembly, Shehu Sani, has said he decided to reveal the actual running costs received monthly by senators because he wants such payments to be stopped.
Speaking with the BBC, Sani said it was necessary to stop the N13.5 million monthly running costs to make the National Assembly attractive to only people who have ideas.
He also accused the National Assembly of being one of the most non-transparent organs of government.
“I decided to burst it open. It was a moral issue. The National Assembly is one of the most non-transparent organs of government. It pricked my conscience and I decided to burst the bubble and open the National Assembly to public scrutiny.
“If the payment system was ended then parliament would only be attractive to people who contribute ideas,” the senator said.
Sani’s comments have attracted fresh controversy to the lawmakers, as he added that there is little accountability on the expenditure of the N13.5 million, which they receive in addition to the over N700,000 monthly consolidated salaries and allowances accruing to each senator.
The Senate last Sunday however noted that there was nothing new about the revelation as the figures had already been made public in the 2017 N125 billion budget of the National Assembly, contained in various items and expenditure heads.
Senate spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi in a statement said the N13.5 million includes appropriation for travelling, medicals, consultancy and others.
“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.