The Nigeria Senate has responded to the revelation by one of its controversial members, Shehu Sani, on the monthly “take home” of the senators.
After years of public demand for information on what each senator collects, Sani finally broke it down in a recent interview, giving the “monthly running cost” as N13.5 million to be accounted for and another N700,000 that is unaccounted for.
But it is no revelation, after all, according to Sabi Abdullahi, spokesman of the Senate in a statement made available to TheCable on Sunday evening.
Abdullahi said Sani “did not disclose anything new “as the figures were contained in various line items and expenditure heads of the budget of the national assembly “which has been made public”.
He dismissed reports that senators were unhappy with Sani.
If people had looked critically at the budget, he said, they would have seen that various line items “like traveling, medicals, consultancy and the rest were captured in the budget and they were the funds divided for each Senator’s use”.
“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,” he added.
Despite Abdullahi’s statement, however, Sani is the first senator to give a breakdown of the running cost in a way that shows that the money is paid directly to the senators.
Previously, the monies were summed up in bulk under a broad headline.