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Monday, 12 March 2018

Shehu Sani: Why I decided to subject national assembly to public scrutiny

Shehu Sani: Why I decided to subject national assembly to public scrutiny

Shehu Sani, senator representing Kaduna central, says his conscience made him open up on the “outrageous” allowance collected by members of the upper legislative chamber of the national assembly.

In a recent interview, Sani said: “The constituency project itself is given on a zonal basis and almost every senator will go with a constituency fund of about N200 million, but it is not the cash that is given to you.”

Although the senate later confirmed his revelation, Shehu’s comments reportedly angered some of his colleagues.

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But in an interview with BBC, he said he his prepared to face the backlash of his revelation.

“It pricked my conscience and I decided to burst the bubble and open the national assembly to public scrutiny,” the senator

“I decided to bust it open. It was a moral issue.”

He added that the national assembly is one of the “most non-transparent organs of government” and that “if the expenses payment system was ended, then parliament would only be attractive to people who contribute ideas”.

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Sani’s revelation has triggered criticisms from some Nigerians who have accused the senate of receiving high earnings at the expense of the masses.

One of such is Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, who has called on the presidency to ensure that the revenue mobilisation, allocation and fiscal commission takes action on the matter.

“While we commend Senator Shehu Sani for exposing the secrecy which had enveloped the salaries and allowances of federal legislators in Nigeria before now, it is crystal clear that the statement credited to Professor Itse Sagay, not too long ago to the effect that Nigerian legislators are the highest paid in the world cannot be faulted,” he had said.

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