President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to stop the illegal money being paid to senators following Shehu Sani’s revelation. A lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to block all illegal payments received by federal lawmakers.
He made the call following revelations by Senator Shehu Sani representing Kaduna Central that each senator receives N13.5 million monthly as “running cost”.
Mr. Sani had in an interview with TheNews revealed that he and his colleagues receive N13.5 million monthly as “running cost”, aside a N750, 000 monthly consolidated salary and allowances which they also receive.
Mr. Sani’s revelation is the first by a lawmaker from the Senate since the clamour by Nigerians for a full disclosure of lawmakers’ earnings. Mr. Falana in a statement on Sunday said the emoluments of the lawmakers goes beyond what was declared by the senator.
“Apart from the monthly package of N13.8 million, each senator is given the opportunity to execute constituency projects to the tune of N200 million per annum. However, the disclosure made by Senator Sani does not cover the allowances for cars, housing, wardrobe, furniture etc running to several millions of Naira approved for each senator.
“Last year, the legislators also illegally purchased exotic cars of N4.7 billion for themselves when workers were owed arrears of salaries and the masses were groaning under a recession caused by the profligacy and mismanagement of the national economy by the ruling class.”
While thanking Mr. Sani for the revelation, he said the exposure confirms a statement by the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council, Itse Sagay, that Nigerian legislators are the highest paid in the world
He blamed the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission for condoning such payments without questioning since 1999.
He tasked the Buhari administration to ensure that no public office holder is paid unapproved salaries and allowances.
“The Buhari administration owes the nation a duty to ensure that no political officer is paid salaries and allowances that have not been approved by the Revenue Mobilization. Allocation Fiscal Commission. The federal government should, as a matter of urgency, halt the payment of double salary and allowances to a number of legislators and ministers.”