After a panel recommendation for a pay cut for the Senate, the members of Nigeria’s eight Senate rejected the pay cut suggested by the panel.
After a two hour closed door deliberation on the report of the finance committee chaired by Senator James Manager to slash salaries, there was sharp disagreement from the Senators who refused to accept a salary cut.
Today’s refusal to accept salary slash triggered criticism from a large section of the public who have pushed for an open and more accountable National Assembly. The full details of the salaries and myriad allowances of senators and Reps are a closely guarded secret estimated to run into hundreds of millions every month.
The Senators are unwilling to accept a pay cut unless the other beneficiaries of the annual budget also agree to slash their salaries. Senator Dino Melaye spoke to journalists after the deliberations and revealed that “The Senate today, in closed-door session, discussed the report of the ad hoc committee on finances of the senate.
“After due deliberations by the senators, we came to the conclusion that since the budget of the Senate is not independent of the budget of the National Assembly, the budget of the House of Representatives is also inclusive.
“We have the management; we have the National Institute for Legislative Studies; we have even the Public Conduct Commission; the National Assembly Civil Service Commission, and over 3, 000 legislative aides, that are beneficiaries of the N120bn annual budget.
“Therefore, we have agreed that we should consult amongst other arms that share the budget of the National Assembly, before we would draw a conclusion on the report.
“So, the resolution is that we are going to interface with the House of Representatives so that we can be on the same page on the report as presented. This is the resolution of the Senate today in a closed-door session.”