The Management of the National Assembly has disclosed that the payment of N2 million to each of the 109 Senators last week was meant for the running costs of their offices.
The clarification by the Senate’s bureaucracy was contained in a statement by the Clerk to the National Assembly, Magaji Tambuwal and signed by the Secretary, Research and Information, Dr. Ali Umoru.

The statement lamented the criticisms that greeted the payment of the money since the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, made it public shortly before the federal lawmakers embarked on their current annual recess.

It explained that the funds were actually appropriated for in the 2023 National  Budget.

Part of the statement read: “The attention of the Management of the National Assembly has been drawn to the persistent mischaracterization and misunderstanding of the payment of a N2,000,000.00  allowance to each  senator.

“It should be noted that the two million naira is part of the running cost of the office of each senator as provided for in the 2023 budget.

“The allocation for running costs is not a new development; it has been a standard practice.

“These funds are utilized to facilitate various activities that directly contribute to effective representation, legislative activities and other initiatives aimed at serving the interests of the people.

“For the avoidance of doubt, and for emphasis, the said allowances were budgeted for in the 2023 Appropriation Act.

“It is part of the running cost of the office of each Senator of the 10th Assembly.

“The allowances are therefore an entitlement and not a privilege or largesse distributed to the Senators.

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“However, given the wrong impression the subject matter has created, it has become imperative to make this clarification and put the records straight.

“The National Assembly remains committed to transparency and accountability in the management of public funds.

“We appreciate the continued support and understanding of the Nigerian people as we work together to uphold the principles of democracy and good governance.”

The controversies that greeted the payment of the money started when Akpabio announced at plenary that it was for the enjoyment of senators during their holiday.

However, some former National Assembly members have cautioned Nigerians against blaming the Senate President over his recent statement that a ‘ token’ had been sent to the senators’ bank accounts for their enjoyment during the six-week annual recess.

The former federal lawmakers spoke through the Dean, Faculty Board, Leadership Council of The Initiatives, Hon. Eseme Eyiboh, who is a former spokesperson for the House of Representatives, at a news conference in Abuja.

Eyiboh explained that The Initiative is the agenda setting college of former and serving National Assembly members.

He said the ‘token’ sent to the bank accounts of the senators was meant to cushion the effects of the current economic hardship on them.

He claimed that National Assembly members had not been paid any salary or allowance since their inauguration on June 13.

Eyiboh said: “In a time like this, senators are going on holidays. A token had already been sent to them. He did not say the Clerk shall send. He said the Clerk had sent.

“As of the time he was making that statement, the senators had received the alerts already.

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“Regardless of the fact that they are senators, these people were inaugurated on June 13th. We are now in August and they are going on break.

“They will resume in September. By the time they resume in September, how do we expect them to cope since they had not received their salaries?

“The capital releases to all ministries, departments and agencies were withheld.

“So they had not collected their salaries. Whatever is given to them, whether as salaries, allowances or whatever

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