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NASS Clerk speaks on N2 million allowance paid to senators

NASS Clerk speaks on N2 million allowance paid to senators

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management of the National Assembly says the N2 million paid to all senators last week was not a vacation allowance.


The assembly said this on Tuesday in a statement by its Secretary, Research and Information, Ali Umoru, on behalf of the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Sani Tambuwal.
After screening and confirmation of the ministerial nominees on 7 August, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, informed senators that money had been credited to their bank accounts to enjoy their holiday, which started that day.
NASS NEWS reportedly sources said each of the 109 senators received N2 million allowance before going on the seven weeks holiday.
The Senate Chief Whip, Ali Ndume, had also said there was no big deal in all the senators receiving N2 million each for their vacation allowance, noting that it was not unusual.
The N2 million allowance given to the senators is illegal as no such provision is made in the remuneration package approved by Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the body authorised by law to prepare salaries and allowances for public servants.
There is also no provision for a “token” in the RMAFC package for senators, but under the law, lawmakers are entitled to a “recess” allowance which is 10 per cent of the annual basic salary of each legislator and is paid once a year.
Following the rage and anger that some Nigerians expressed over the payment amid hardship in the country, Mr Umoru said in the statement that the N2 million paid to each of the senators was part of the running cost of their offices and that it was budgeted for.
It should be noted that the Two million Naira is part of the running cost of the office of each senator as provided for in the 2023 budget.
“The allocation for running costs is not a new development; it has been standard practice. These funds are utilised to facilitate various activities that directly contribute to effective representation, legislative activities and other initiatives aimed at serving the interests of the people.
For the avoidance of doubt, and for emphasis, the said allowances were budgeted for in the 2023 Appropriation Act as part of the running cost of the office of each Senator of the 10th Assembly,” he said.
Mr Umoru stressed that the allowances are the entitlement of the senators

The allowances are, therefore, an entitlement and not a privilege or largesse distributed to the Senators. However, given the wrong impression the subject matter has created, it has become imperative to make this clarification and put the records straight.
“The National Assembly remains committed to transparency and accountability in the management of public funds.
“We appreciate the continued support and understanding of the Nigerian people as we work together to uphold the principles of democracy and good governance,” the statement

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