Following Senator Shehu Sani’s revelation last week that each senator was given the amount of N13.1 million monthly apart from their N750,000 monthly salary, human rights activist Femi Falana has voiced out.
Falana released a statement to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him to stop the flamboyant salaries and allowances of Nigerian Senators and public office holders.
The statement read “according to the Senator (Shehu Sani), the running cost of each Senator is N13.1 million in addition to a consolidated salary of N750,000 per month. 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.
“The revelations by Senator Sani should therefore provide an opportunity for the Nigerian people to review the entire costs of governance under the rickety democratic dispensation.
“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 members of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission empowered by section section 70 of the Constitution to approve the salaries and allowances of the legislators have always washed off their hands like Pontius Pilate while the Budget Office has never questioned the payment of unauthorised salaries and allowances to federal legislators.”
The activist lawyer recalled that last year, the legislators also illegally purchased exotic cars of N4.7 billion for themselves at a time when workers were owed arrears of salaries and the masses were groaning under recession.
“While we commend Senator Shehu Sani for exposing the secrecy which had enveloped the salaries and allowances of federal legislators in Nigeria before now, it is crystal clear that the statement credited to Professor Itse Sagay, the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council not too long ago to the effect that Nigerian legislators are the highest paid in the world cannot be faulted.
“However, the federal legislators cannot be blamed alone for paying themselves skyrocketing salaries and allowances outside the ambit of the wages approved for all political office holders in the country,” he added.