"After more than an hour closed door session, Senators yesterday kicked against cutting down their salaries and allowances. Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki said senate in the closed session at plenary deliberated on the report of finance Committee and agreed to step it down for further legislative input."
Senate deliberations were hampered by the fact that senate budget is lumped into the total budget of the National Assembly.
While some senators supported slashing of salaries and allowances of the law makers, other have some reservations, saying that if the anti- corruption agenda of the present administration is fully implemented and all financial leakages in the system completely blocked, then law makers will no longer have any other source to take care of their aids and settle personal bills.
Senate however said that the Red chambers alone cannot reach any conclusion on pay cut since the budget of the National Assembly is shared by all the agencies involved in legislative business like House of Representative, National Assembly Management, National Assembly Service Commission, Nigerian Institute of Legislative Studies, Public Conduct Commission and others.
What the Senators and House members earn, especially their allowances and the secrecy surrounding the pay package of the lawmakers, have been serious issue of debate and some time outright condemnation by some Nigerians.
The constituency allowance of National Assembly members is domicile in Presidency, the basic salary of a Senator is about N168,000 while the major area of concern to some Nigerians is other allowances including wardrobe, car, housing, furniture, electricity and travelling allowances.
These other allowances are lumped together and referred to as quarterly allowance which insiders say is over N40 million per quarter.