The Nigerian senator, Shehu Sani, who revealed that he and his colleagues receive N13.5 million as running cost monthly, explained why he exposed his colleagues.
“I decided to burst it open. The payment is a moral issue,” he said in an interview with BBC. 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.
In an interview with TheNews, Mr Sani revealed that he and his colleagues receive N13.5 million monthly as “running cost”, aside from an 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.
This revelation has sparked widespread anger among Nigerians who had always criticized 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.