Nigerian Senator representing Kaduna Central in the National Assembly, Shehu Sani, whose revelation attracted fresh controversy in the National Assembly, as he demanded accountability on the expenditure of the N13.5m which they receive in addition to the over N700,000 monthly consolidated salaries and allowances, has revealed the reason behind his outburst.
According to Senator Shehu Sani who spoke with BBC, his outburst was a moral issue and the National Assembly which is one of the most non-transparent organs of government, needs to stop the N13.5m monthly running costs, to make the National Assembly attractive to only people who have ideas.
“I decided to burst it open. It was a moral issue. The National Assembly is one of the most non-transparent organs of government. .
It pricked my conscience and I decided to burst the bubble and open the National Assembly to public scrutiny. If the payment system was ended then parliament would only be attractive to people who contribute ideas,” the senator said.
Shehu Sani had before now, kicked against payment of allowances, saying Senators should be paid just salaries. His Statement read in parts;
“I think what we can say is that the running cost of a senator is N13.5 million every month.
“Though no specific instruction on what the fund should be used for, lawmakers must provide receipts to back up their expenses from the running costs.
“The running cost is in addition to funds earmarked for each senator for constituency projects.
“But what I am saying is 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.”