The Senate has reacted to the shockwaves that greeted the revelation that each senator collects N13.5m monthly as running cost in addition to N750, 000 monthly salary/allowances.
This was disclosed in an interview with Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central) that was published by The News online, in which he confirmed the jumbo pay for the federal lawmakers.
The figure confirms suspicion that the Nigerian legislature is the most expensive in the world, drawing criticism across board.
Reacting to the development, Senate Spokesman Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, said the figure given by Sani are contained in various line items and expenditure heads of the budget of the National Assembly which had been made public, The Nation writes.
“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 on Sunday, adding that senators’ emoluments were never secret.
The Senate spokesman then denied the claim in certain quarters that his colleagues had been up in arms against Sani for the disclosure.
Despite numerous demands for transparency in the finances of the National Assembly, the breakdown of their annual budgets has yet to be made public.
In the 2017 budget, the National Assembly appropriated to itself the sum of N125billion.
One thing is clear for Nigerians though…legislation doesn’t come cheap!