12 March 2018

Nigeria: Why I Revealed How Much We Earn As Senators - Shehu Sani

Photo: The Guardian
Shehu Sani.

Shehu Sani, the Nigerian senator who revealed that he and his colleagues receive N13.5 million as running cost monthly, has explained why he exposed his colleagues.

Mr. Sani in an interview with BBC said the payment is a 'moral issue.'

"I decided to burst it open. It was a moral issue," he said.

He said that the National Assembly is being run with little accountability about how the money is spent.

He wants the illegal payment to be scrapped so that the legislative arm of government will be attractive only to people who can contribute ideas.

"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 expenses payment system was ended then parliament would only be attractive to people who contribute ideas," he told BBC.

Mr. Sani had in an interview with TheNews revealed that he and his colleagues receive N13.5 million monthly as "running cost", aside a N750, 000 monthly consolidated salary and allowances which they also receive.

Mr. Sani's revelation is the first by a lawmaker from the Senate since the clamour by Nigerians for a full disclosure of lawmakers' earnings.

The revelation has sparked widespread anger among Nigerians who had always criticised the lawmakers for arbitrarily allocating jumbo pay to themselves.

The Senate on Sunday confirmed the payment but said the revelation is 'nothing new' as the information was already in the public domain.

The presidency is yet to react to the development.

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