The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi has reacted to Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), claims that a Nigerian senator earns N29m per month, thus draining the country’s economy..
However, Abdullahi insisted that the senate would not disclose salaries of its members.
This was revealed by Abdullahi during the weekend during a live programme on Channels Television entitled, ‘Politics Today’ and monitored during the weekend.
When asked by the presenter how much he earned, Abdullahi angrily declined, saying it was rude of the presenter to ask him how much each senator earned.
“You don’t expect me to come out on national television to say this is what I earn. It is not done. I cannot ask you as a journalist how much you earn. It is not done.
“If anybody is interested in how much we are getting paid, you know where to get the information. The documents are available. If Nigerians won’t believe that, is it what I will say that they will believe?”
The Senate spokesman said the figures released by Sagay were false, adding that the Senate’s budget was not even as high as what Sagay released.
He said Sagay was only trying to cause unnecessary tension between the National Assembly and the Presidency.
“This issue has become a recurring decimal. In the last two years people have been discussing this matter and I always ask myself, what do people really want to believe? I think if this subject matter has been discussed for two years and we are still looking at issues wrongly, then I think there is something wrong with us.
“The institutions that are responsible for providing this information are there. A law was promulgated on Top Salary Scale also known as TOPSA and it is based on this scale that everyone who holds one political office or the other gets paid.
“I want to also submit that I presume Prof. Sagay would have been paid based on the provision of this scale. For us in the National Assembly, the question needs to be asked ‘what is the cost of having democracy and what is the cost of not having democracy?’”