Senator Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly has revealed the amount he and his colleagues receive monthly as running cost.
Sani confirmed in a statement that Nigerian Senators are earning N13.5 million monthly as running cost.
The lawmaker said the running cost was in addition to the over N750,000 monthly consolidated salary and allowances of each member of the Senate.
He, however, kicked against payment of allowances, saying Senators should be paid just salaries.
The statement reads, “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 cost.
“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.
“They track every allocation made to you and where they are being used. So, it’s becoming difficult for what used to happen in the past to happen now. But I can tell you that I would love a situation where we do away with running costs, constituency projects and leaves senators and members of House of Reps with salaries.
“And also, the public should be informed that nobody should come to any senator’s house asking for any kobo. That also would be helpful. There are issues that we need to understand. First, I don’t believe that members of the National or even state assemblies should be involved in carrying out what is called constituency projects”.
He added that people make so much demand of senators believing they have the power of the executive.
“When the people come to you, they want you to build roads, dig boreholes, build hospitals, schools, give money, pay school fees for them. Now, if we have a society in which people will stop asking legislators to do those things, then there is no need (for the allowances),” he stated.