The allegations made by Senator Shehu Sani that says Nigerian Senators receive N13.5 million monthly, separate from salaries as running cost has been confirmed by the Senate.
According to Sani’s who is also a Senator, the payment is being kept from the public. The money reportedly illegal as it is not approved by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC). It is also separate from the salaries and allowances approved by RMAFC which, Mr. Sani says, totals about N750,000 monthly.
Confirming Sani’s allegations, Senate spokesman, Aliyu Abdullahi, said the revelation by Mr. Sani that senators receive N13.5 million monthly as “running cost” is nothing new, he revealed that the details of what Mr. Sani said were already “contained in various line items and expenditure heads of the budget of the National Assembly which has been made public.”
The National Assembly in 2017, for the first time, released it’s budget after public pressure. That budget however had no subhead for office running cost putting doubt to Mr. Abdullahi’s claim.
The Senate spokesperson, however, said that “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 traveling, 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,” he added.
Mr. Abdullahi also said that Mr. Sani’s colleagues were not unhappy with his revelation. Since Mr. Sani’s revelation, Nigerians and civil society groups have criticised the Senate with activist Femi Falana asking President Muhammadu Buhari not to approve such money anymore.