We Receive N14.2 Million Monthly, N200 Million Constituency Project fund - Serving Senator, Shehu Sani Reveals\r\n \r\n\r\nSenator Shehu Sani, a serving Senator in the 8th Senate and representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly has revealed he and his colleagues received a total monthly package of about N14.2 million monthly.\r\n\r\nThe Kaduna Senator who made the revelation in an interview he granted to TheNEWS magazine said the running cost\u00a0(N13.5 million per month) was in addition to the over N700,000 monthly consolidated salary and allowances of each member of the Senate, making a total of about\u00a0N14.2 million total package monthly.\r\n\r\nThe Senator said, \u201cI think what we can say is that the running cost of a senator is N13.5 million every month,\u201d the Senator said in response to the question on alleged bogus salaries and allowances of Nigerian lawmakers.\r\n\r\nWhile 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.\r\n\r\nAccording to him,\u00a0\u201cBut 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.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nCONSTITUENCY PROJECT\r\n\r\nThe Senator declares that \u201cThe 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.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou 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.\r\n\r\n\u201cNow, 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.\r\n\r\n\u201cSo, it\u2019s becoming difficult for what used to happen in the past to happen now.\r\n\r\n\u201cBut 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.\r\n\r\n\u2018And also, the public should be informed that nobody should come to any senator\u2019s house asking for any kobo. That also would be helpful.\r\n\r\n\u201cThere are issues that we need to understand. First, I don\u2019t believe that members of the National or even state assemblies should be involved in carrying out what is called constituency projects.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhen 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.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhen 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\u2019t 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.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe 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.\r\n\r\n\u201cIf we can be done with that, it would be okay. Now, you are talking of bogus salaries and bogus allowances \u2013 there are three steps you need to consider \u2013 the first has to do with the fact when you represent the people, expectations arose from your immediate and the larger constituencies.\r\n\r\n\u201cBut 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?\r\n\r\nThe revelation by the Senator Shehu Sani was the first time a serving member of the National Assembly will confirm speculations that Nigerian senators are earning N41.5 million quarterly as a running cost.