Africa news24 (AN24) recalls that sometime last year, Senator Shehu Sani revealed N13.5 million as the basic salary Nigerian senators receive monthly as running cost, apart from the N750,000 consolidated monthly salary.
In a country where most states cannot pay the monthly minimum wage of N18,000, federal pensioners are owed 14 months arrears and social services have collapsed, it is disturbing that senators are so remunerated. “It was a moral issue,” Sani said.
Nigerians, as usual, have constantly condemned the obnoxious allowances received by lawmakers.
This online news platform reports that one of Nigerian’s lawmakers Ahmed Lawani has stepped out to defend the monthly salary saying the nature of the work of senators justifies their 13.5 million running costs.
He said: “Let me say right from the onset that there is nothing like jumbo pay for lawmakers. As a senator, my take-home is N750,000. The gross is about N1 million but a senator pays a tax of N250,000 every month.
“But as a senator who has to work for the people, we have the funds that people call our own or allowances. These funds are for us to operate.
“Sometimes your oversight or other functions take you outside the country.
“I believe that what is paid to members of the national assembly and the Senate, the N13 million per month is not given to the senator to put into his pocket and use to buy cars. It’s for that senator to perform his functions.
“Today as a senator, I have five aides. In fact, in most cases, if a senator is going to move a motion, he writes it himself. In the US, a senator may have maybe a long list of professors on every sector who may be a consultant or a staff.
“And that is why the quality of legislation will naturally be higher where such climate exists. We want to have high-quality legislation, so we have to pay for that.”