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Senators stall over N50million allowance

Senate President David Mark with other senators

* Following public outcry against Reps’ move

By Jide Ajani, Deputy Editor

An attempt by some Senators to move for an increase in  members’ quarterly allowance to N50 million each appears to have hit the walls following the public outcry that greeted last week’s row in the House of Representatives over capital vote.

Some Reps were reportedly asking for an upward review of members’ quarterly allowances from N27.2 million to N42 million each.

But since there is no provision for any such increase in this year’s budget, the difference would have been sourced from the N6.3 billion capital vote of the House.

Sunday Vanguard gathered that the Senators who conceived a similar idea for implementation in the Senate are now reconsidering the issue on the strength of the public outcry that followed the controversy in the House of Representatives.

They are also partly discouraged, according to sources, by the unwillingness of the Senate leadership to buy into the idea, and the negative reaction it might attract from the executive arm of government.

The brains behind the agitation are said to have decided on the move because it held the prospect of a good source of funds for their re-election campaigns next year.

A Senate source told Sunday Vanguard that the leadership was not disposed to any move to utilise capital votes for recurrent, without due process, saying “any action taken in that design without the full and express involvement of the executive is illegal”.

The source added that “in any case, such a move can never fly in the face of due process, because it is not justifiable under any guise.

“How would any one move funds meant for capital projects to recurrent or vice-versa and expect Nigerians to keep quiet?  The good thing today is that our people are very knowledgeable and enlightened on matters of public institutions and governance.


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