By Soni Daniel
Senate Presidency aspirant, Senator Ahmed Lawan, has defended the N13.5 million monthly salary being paid to each of the 109 senators in the country, saying that the major component of the amount was for oversight assignment allowances.
Lawan, who has the endorsement of the Presidency and the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to become the President of the 9th Senate, spoke to journalists in Abuja, yesterday, maintaining that there would be no reduction of the amount if he becomes the next Senate President.
The lawmaker also reflected on Friday’s Supreme Court judgment which sacked three APC senators-elect from Zamfara State, describing it as a setback.
That notwithstanding, Lawan pointed out that the APC was still in the lead in the Senate with 62 members, having lost three to the PDP, which now boasts of 44 members in the upper chamber of the NASS.
According to him, there is nothing like jumbo pay for senators since each of them goes home with about N1 million a month and allowances for oversight functions, some of them outside the country.
The Yobe representative, who remains the longest-serving lawmaker from the North in the Senate so far, also described himself as a ‘Buhari man’, who would always support all good policies and programmes initiated by the administration for the overall good of Nigerians. Lawan said: “I won’t deny it; I am a Buhari man and supporter. But that does not mean that I would be a rubber stamp to him or his policies if I become the Senate President. My support for him should not be misconstrued to mean that I would be a rubber stamp to him or his policies.
“But it must also be noted that I don’t belong to the school of thought of using lawmakers to fight the government. For me, I recognize the fact that we must work together by agreeing and sometimes disagreeing to make things work better for all Nigerians”.