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Each senator earns N13.5m monthly – Shehu Sani

Each senator earns N13.5m monthly – Shehu Sani
EXCLUSIVE From THE NEWS Magazine
Each senator earns N13.5m monthly – Shehu Sani
Mr. Shehu Sani, the Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District
in the National Assembly has revealed Nigerian Senators best kept secret:
their pay packet.
In a major interview with The News magazine, Sani said  he and his
colleagues received N13.5 million monthly as running cost.
The revelation by the Senator was the first time a member of the National
Assembly will confirm speculations that Nigerian senators are earning N41.5
million quarterly as a running cost.
The Kaduna Senator said the earned running cost was in addition to the over
N700,000 monthly consolidated salary and allowances of each member of the
Senate.
The Senator said, “I think what we can say is that the running cost of a
senator is N13.5 million every month,” the Senator said in response to the
question on alleged bogus salaries and allowances of Nigerian lawmakers.
According to him, while there is no specific instruction on what the fund should
be used for, lawmakers must provide receipts to back up their expenses from
the running costs. He added that the running cost is in addition to funds
earmarked for each senator for constituency projects.
“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.
“Now, the corruption comes when the projects are not done and the money is
taken. But right now, it is difficult to do that because NGOs and transparency
groups have come into it. They track every allocation made to you and where
they are being used.

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“So, it’s becoming difficult for what used to happen in the past to happen now.
“But I can tell you that I would love a situation where we do away with running
costs, constituency projects and leaves senators and members of House of
Reps with salaries.
‘And also, the public should be informed that nobody should come to any
senator’s house asking for any kobo. That also would be helpful.
“There are issues that we need to understand. First, I don’t believe that
members of the National or even state assemblies should be involved in
carrying out what is called constituency projects.
“When people are elected into the National Assembly, they should just be
involved in law making, raising motions, bills and also performing oversight
functions. But we live in a society where people cannot differentiate between
the legislators and the executive.
“When the people come to you, they want you to build roads, dig boreholes,
build hospitals, schools, give money, pay school fees for them. Now, if we
have a society in which people will stop asking legislators to do those things,
then there is no need (for the allowances) But funny enough, if you are very
active in the National Assembly in making laws and you don’t embark on
projects in your constituency, you cannot in any way be appreciated by the
people you are there to serve because the electorates in United States are
different from the electorates in the United States and Africa.
“We live in an underdeveloped society with a lot of poverty, misery and wants.
What people want is for you to address those basic fundamental issues that
affects their lives.
“If we can be done with that, it would be okay. Now, you are talking of bogus
salaries and bogus allowances – there are three steps you need to consider –
the first has to do with the fact when you represent the people, expectations
arose from your immediate and the larger society.

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