- The Human and Environmental Development Agenda has called on President Buhari to remove all illegal allowances inserted into the 2018 budget
- The group described the recently revealed N13.5 million monthly jumbo pay for senators as being criminal, inhuman and cruel
- It pointed out that the approved monthly payment of a senator is N1.06m, and anything outside that amount is against the tenets of the Nigerian law
- The president was also urged to retrieve all the previous monies collected illegally by lawmakers in order to block all loopholes encouraging corruption
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to remove all illegal allowances inserted by federal lawmakers in the 2018 budget, by a human rights organisation, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre), Premium Times reports.
The group made the plea in a letter written to the president, which was signed by its chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju.
NAIJ.com gathers that in addition to this request, the group also wants Buhari to retrieve from the lawmakers, all funds previously collected illegally.
In the letter, HEDA expressed concern over the allowances paid to members of the nation’s legislature, especially senators, which was revealed recently.
The letter read: “A member of the Senate, Senator Shehu Sanni shocked Nigerians during an interview with a newspaper with the revelation of parliamentarian’s illegal collection of unconstitutional running cost, above the statutorily approved salaries and allowances, to the tune of N13.5m since the inauguration of this 8th Assembly.
“This is in the least, criminal, inhuman, cruel and corruption beyond imagination of observers of your government and its anti-corruption agenda.
“The Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the body charged with responsibility of fixing remuneration package for political, public and judicial officer in Nigeria says monthly payment of N13.5m as running cost to senator is unknown to the Commission and therefore illegal.
“On March 29, 2018, SaharaReporters reported that each of the lawmakers in the House of Representatives also receives N11.5m monthly as running cost.
“RMAFC spokesman was reported to have said on the 28th of March that the approved monthly payment of a senator was N1.06m, and anything outside that amount is against the tenets of the Nigerian law as provided in Section 84 (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended which provides that “there shall be paid to the holders of the offices mentioned in this section such remuneration, salaries and allowances as may be prescribed by the National Assembly, but not exceeding the amount as shall have been determined by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission”, and therefore disowned the jumbo payment to the lawmakers.
“According to him, the National Assembly Service Commission should be held accountable.
“He was also reported to have said that a closer look at the monthly entitlement of senators reveals that each senator collects salary and allowances in the sum of N1,063,860.00. Then we wonder what the running cost is for.”
It continued: “On this account, HEDA Resource Center hereby call on Your Excellency to demand the removal of all those illegal allowances, including but not limited to the N13.5M, inserted in the 2018 budget and the retrieval of all the previous monies collected illegally by the lawmakers from all those affected, so that all loopholes that encourage corrupt practices could be blocked and prevented."
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that some legal practitioners in the country berated the Nigerian Senate for receiving N13.5 million running cost allowance every month.
The senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, disclosed the details of what every senator earns as salary and running cost; and the revelation generated backlash from Nigerians.
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