Connect with us

News

Senate Defends N13.5m Monthly Pay To Members …As Sagay, Falana, CD Flay Senate Over Allowance

Published

on

Senate spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi says the statements made by his colleague from Kaduna State, Senator Shehu Sani, on the salaries and funds for running of offices of Senators did not disclose anything new as the figure he gave out about running cost of the offices of Senators were contained in various line items and expenditure heads of the budget of the National Assembly which has been made public.
Abdullahi dismissed any insinuations that Sani’s colleague were unhappy with him and said if people had looked critically at the budget of the National Assembly, which has since been made public, 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”, Abdullahi stated.
Senator Shehu Sani speaking about the alleged bogus salaries and allowances of Nigerian lawmakers and divuluged that every Nigerian Senator gets N13.5 million monthly as running costs and about N200 million as constituency Sani said “I think what we can say is that the running cost of a senator is N13.5 million every month,”
According to him, while there is no specific instruction on what the fund should be used for, lawmakers must provide receipts to back up their expenses from the running costs.
He added that the running cost is in addition to funds earmarked for each senator for constituency projects.
“But what I am saying is that 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. “When people are elected into the National Assembly, they should just be involved in law making, raising motions, bills and also performing oversight functions.
But we live in a society where people cannot differentiate between the legislators and 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) But funny enough, if you are very active in the National Assembly in making laws and you don’t embark on projects in your constituency, you cannot in any way be appreciated by the people you are there to serve because the electorates in United States are different from the electorates in the United States and Africa.
“We live in an underdeveloped society with a lot of poverty, misery and wants. What people want is for you to address those basic fundamental issues that affects their lives.
“If we can be done with that, it would be okay. Now, you are talking of bogus salaries and bogus allowances – there are three steps you need to consider – the first has to do with the fact when you represent the people, expectations arose from your immediate and the larger constituencies.
“But I agree with you that the salaries and allowances of lawmakers should not be discreet, but what is discreet about it when you can write to Resource and Fiscal Mobilization Commission to get everything about what a senator earns?.
The only money you are not expected to account for is your salary and the salary of a senator is about N750, 000.00 per month. The other one, the running cost of office must be accounted for. You must provide a receipt for every expense you make.”
Meanwhile, prominent Nigerians and groups yesterday took a swipe at the National Assembly over the N13.5m running cost being paid to senators.
The Campaign for Democracy, senior lawyers, including Mr. Femi Falana, Mr. Yusuf Ali and Prof. Itse Sagay, in separate interviews with newsmen, also commended Senator Shehu Sani for the disclosure.
Sani had, in an interview with newsmen, revealed that each senator received N13.5m monthly as running cost apart from the N700,000 consolidated salary and allowances paid to each of them.
Sagay said Sani’s revelation had vindicated him on his criticism of the lawmakers.
Sagay said. “I’ve always said they earn too much. This figure by Sanni does not include constituency allowances, which is in billions of naira.
“We still have budget padding from which millions are made by them. By the time you put all that together, you can see that these people are collecting a huge chunk of the Nigerian budget.”
The CD, in its reaction, said the N13.5m running cost could employ over 100 graduates in the country.
The CD President, Usman Abdul, in an interview with newsmen, said the huge earnings by the senators contributed to the bastardisation of the economy.
He said, “You can take good care of over 100 graduates from a senator’s salary. The legislature should deliberate on the abject poverty and unemployment in the country.”
Also speaking, Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Jiti Ogunye, said Sani must be commended for his courage.
Ogunye said, “What Senator Shehu Sani said has confirmed the long-held fears of Nigerians that Nigerian legislators, both at the state and national levels, have been short-changing Nigerians.
“They are not expected to use that elevated position to serve their own interest at the expense of public interest. They are not expected to allow their self-consideration to override their commitment to abiding by the law.”
The Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Monday Ubani, said Nigerians must demand a review of the lawmakers’ earnings.
Ubani, “It means that Nigerians have not been getting a fair deal from our legislators. If a single person will be earning that kind of money in a country where the minimum wage is N18,000; something has to be done. We need to insist on a review of these jumbo allowances.”
The Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, Mr. Debo Adeniran, said Nigerians had a right to be displeased because they had not been getting a fair deal from the lawmakers.
Adeniran said, “The outcry wouldn’t have been if the legislators have been living up to the expectation of their constituents. Nigerians don’t see the lawmakers as people who are representing their interest.”
Falana said Sani’s revelation had proved that Nigerian legislators were the highest paid in the world.
Falana, in a statement yesterday, said, “Apart from the monthly package of N13.5m, each senator is given the opportunity to execute constituency projects to the tune of N200m per annum. However, the disclosure made by Senator Sani does not cover the allowances for cars, housing, wardrobe and furniture running to several millions of naira approved for each senator.”
Also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Yusuf Ali, said the allowance was insensitive given the state of the economy and the minimum wage of the workers in the country.
He said, “Even if there were no mass unemployment and if the economy were buoyant, suchallowance is totally unrelated to our circumstances; it is very insensitive.”
The Head of Abuja office of Social Action, a non-governmental organisation, Mrs. Vivian Bellonwu-Okafor, said the revelation was another sad commentary in the history of political offices emolument in Nigeria.
A former Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc, Mr Rislanudeen Mohammed, said there was no justification for the N13.5m monthly pay.
But the Senate said there was nothing new in what Sani said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

I’ll Provide Solid Representation, If Elected -Banigo

Published

on

Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has assured the people of Abua/Odual Local Government Area that she would provide undivided representation if voted into the Senate in 2023.
Banigo gave this assurance when leaders and critical stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party had a meeting with her, at the Government House in Port Harcourt to map out campaign strategies, yesterday.
The deputy governor said, she was excited that the meeting was held for the stakeholders to understand themselves, to ensure the party wins at the elections in 2023, adding that by the grace of God the local government area would be better than what it is now, if she emerges as the Rivers West senator.
In a related development, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, who is the Rivers West Senatorial District Candidate of the PDP in the upcoming polls, has also met with leaders of the PDP in Ahoada East Local Government Area, where she urged them to reach out to their constituents and encourage the collection of PVCs.
“We must realize that with this new Electoral Act, the votes will surly count, as this 2023 election is not going to be like the previous elections, there will be a difference, people should not be afraid to pick up their cards and vote, they should not be lackadaisical about it, they should keep their cards safe and on the day of election they should come up and cast their vote, because this time every vote will count”.
She said the campaigns would be unit based and urged them to reach out to those in their units.
“Make sure you have unit executives in each of the wards, so we can have a door to door campaign”, Banigo said.
In his remarks at the meetings, the Vice Chairman of the Rivers West Senatorial District of the PDP, Dr. Nname Robinson Ewor, said there is a need for members of the PDP to go out and establish their presence in all units’ wards and constituencies, stressing that the nature of this upcoming election would be different from previous elections.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

Ariolu, Others Welcome Ex-Deputy Guber Candidate To PDP

Published

on

Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, Barrister George Ariolu, has led other party faithful, including Chairman of PDP, Ward 6, Kingsley Nna; Chairman of PDP, Ward 9, Collins Wobo Chukwu; and Obio/Akpor PDP Secretary, Kingman Ogbonna; to receive a bigwig and stakeholder of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Rumuogba in Ward 6, Chief Williams Igwe, into the PDP.
Receiving the former Deputy Governorship Candidate of the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the Obio/Akpor PDP Secretariat, Rumueme, Ariolu expressed delight over his decampment from the APC to the PDP, describing it as an indication that the party was waxing stronger.
Ariolu, who was greeted with euphoria by the LGA PDP Chairman, Chidi Amadi, who also welcomed the former deputy governorship candidate at the secretariat, promised to work closely with Igwe to build the party ahead of the forthcoming election.
He pointed out that the foundation of the PDP was built on togetherness, stating that collectively, the party would achieve more.
Ariolu thanked Igwe for wholeheartedly accepting to come back to the party.
According to him, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has separated governance from politics following his relentless battle to promote the interest of Rivers people.
Also speaking, Chairman of the PDP in Obio/Akpor, Chidi Amadi, said the reception of Igwewas a fulfilment of an age-long dream, and a welcome development for members of the party, expressing joy over the event.
He further commended Ariolu for his strong support and leadership towards the sustenance and growth of the party.
In his remark, Chief Williams Igwe affirmed his loyalty and commitment to the PDP in its quest to oust the APC and fix the broken state of the country’s socio-economic and political fabrics.
He described the reception as a homecoming for himself and his supporters who would be formally received at a formal event which would be organised by the state party chairman, adding that PDP remains a major political party which will unite the nation.
He added that his decision to defect to the party was well-thought-out, and called on others to join hands with the Rivers State Government to rebuild the socio-economic fortunes of the state.
According to him, he believed that it was time for him to cross over to join hands with the Rivers State governor in moving the state forward.
The former Deputy Governorship Candidate was also received by PDP Chieftain, Barrister Temple Ejekwu; Obio/Akpor PDP Woman Leader,Gloria Wonodi; Barrister Kelvin Akani; and members of Obio/Akpor PDP Executive.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

NNPC Posts N674bn Profit

Published

on

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has declared a profit after tax of N674billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2021.
The profit represented a growth of 134.84per cent when compared with N287billion profit in 2020 which was recorded under the old Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), NNPC Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari, said this at a news conference, yesterday, in Abuja.
“NNPC progressed to a new performance level, from N287billion profit in 2020 to a N674billion profit after tax in 2021 climbing higher by 134.8per cent year on year profit growth,’’ he said.
Kyari also said that it recorded an increase in total assets from N15.86trillion in 2020 to N16.27trillion in 2021.
Speaking on the group’s financial position, Kyari said the corporation’s total liabilities decreased by 8.3per cent to N13.46trillion during the review period from N14.68trillion in 2020.
The GCEO said its shareholders funds position rose N2.81trillion representing 144per cent year-on-year.
“The performance would have been greater if the operations in the year under review were free from incessant vandalism, crude oil and products theft, among others.
“Details of the performance of NNPC and the respective subsidiaries as well as that of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) will be published on our website www.nnpcgroup.com for stakeholder’s perusal.
“We look forward to achieving greater performance to support our growth aspirations and to create more value for our stakeholders as we drive full commercial operations under NNPC Ltd.,’’ he said.
He recalled that in September 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the publication of the 2020 NNPC Group Audited Financial Statement, in which NNPC declared a profit after tax of N287billion for the first time in 44 years.
Kyari said that in spite of the challenging operating environment, it strongly believed that the corporation had the potential to sustainably deliver better value to it esteemed shareholders.
He said it sought to become a dynamic global energy company of choice to its customers, partners and over 200million shareholders comprising of all Nigerians.
Kyari noted that the corporation in 2019 rolled out deliberate policies and initiatives aimed at reducing costs and eliminating losses while adopting technology to entrench transparency, accountability and performance excellence (TAPE) across its various functions.
He said the NNPC had recorded significant improvement over the past three years, turning up the curve from losses to profits.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Trending