The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has agreed to meet with the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) at the National Assembly to explicate to Nigerians if it is true that a Nigerian Senator gets N29 million as monthly pay, and over N3 billion a year.
SERAP in a statement signed by its deputy director, Timothy Adewale, on Wednesday said: “We are pleased to accept the invitation from the Senate President to visit the National Assembly to discuss matters of public interest following SERAP’s letter to Saraki to disclose details of salaries and allowances of members of the Senate,”.
“We will use the opportunity of the face-to-face meeting to ask pertinent questions and seek detailed information and clarifications on the exact salaries and allowances that each senator receives monthly or yearly.”
Adewale said that the Office of the Senate President contacted SERAP yesterday to set up a meeting for Thursday.
The meeting, scheduled for 1 pm at the National Assembly Complex follows SERAP’s request to Saraki to “urgently explain to Nigerians if it is true that a Nigerian Senator gets N29 million in monthly pay, and over N3 billion a year.”
Mr Bamikole Omishore, the Special Adviser to Saraki on New Media, had said on Sunday in Abuja that he would contact SERAP and other CSOs for a meeting to give more details on the yearly earnings of senators.
Omishore said: “The attention of the office of the President of the Senate has been drawn to demand for more details regarding the earnings of senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Having released the breakdown of the National Assembly budget, the most comprehensive in the history of Nigerian Senate, it seems the release of pay slips is yet to clarify earnings of Nigerian senators.
“The Senate President has agreed to a roundtable with SERAP and other CSOs to enlighten them and answer genuine questions regarding the matter.
I will make contact with SERAP and other CSOs for a date convenient for all parties in the next few days,” Mr. Omishore also said.
It would be recalled that Professor Itse Sagay, Chairman Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC), had alleged that a Nigerian Senator gets N29 million in monthly pay.
But the Senate has so far refused to clarify this or disclose the details of salaries and allowances of its members.
Subsequently, SERAP wrote Saraki stating that “The ‘sky will not fall’ if details of a Nigerian Senator’s salaries and allowances are published on a dedicated website.
SERAP believes that releasing the information on salaries and allowances of members of the Senate would encourage a nuanced, evidence-based public debate on what would or should be a fair salary for a member of the Senate.”