Senate begins review of legislators’ earnings
Inaugurating a committee to restructure the finances of the Upper Legislative Chamber at the National Assembly yesterday, Saraki noted that there was so much ambiguity in the earning of Senators adding that there was the urgent need to make it more open and transparent.
The committee’s terms of reference are:
•To determine if this deduction is adequate or not;
•To determine whether mode of disbursement of office running cost is appropriate;
•To determine whether National Assembly’s detailed budget should beaded public;
•To liaise with secretary, finance and accounts to determine the appropriate salary/allowances for members considering the standard running cost.
The subject of reduction in cost of governance has been a sensitive matter on the front burner of national issues in the polity especially with regards to the legislature.
While much of this could be due to an underlining ambiguity in the monthly salaries of legislators and their allowances, there still persists the need to project clarity, accountability and transparency in all legislative matters and legislators’ welfare.”
He said that the Senate would always ensure that all issues agitating the minds of Nigerians regarding the salaries and allowances of Senators were properly examined and taken care of.
Saraki said:”The 8th Senate under our watch recognises the concerns raised by Nigerians about the cost of running office most especially with the economic challenges facing our nation.
The senate will be more transparent regarding all public funds spent for the purpose of paying salaries and allowances of legislators and ensure that distinction is sufficiently made between what a legislator actually earns and what is spent to run and implement legislative business and committee activities.”
Stating that “The watchword in our financial issues will be fiscal conservatism,” Saraki mandated the committee headed by Senator James Managers (Delta State) “to carry out thorough fiscal examination on the senate finances with the aim of coming up with the best cost-effective regime in the 8th Senate.”
Saraki said that the committee which would be led by the Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume, would be “saddled with the responsibility of charting a renewed course for the 8th Senate, will be doing so in total recognition of the works of yesterday, the difficulties of today and the challenges of tomorrow.”