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REVEALED: Each senator gets N13.5m every month — aside salaries

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Shehu Sani, senator representing Kaduna central senatorial district, has revealed he and his colleagues receive N13.5 million monthly as running cost.

Sani said this in an interview he granted THENEWS magazine but was made available online by Sahara Reporters .

Sani said the running cost was in addition to over N700,000 monthly consolidated salary and allowances of each senator.

“I think what we can say is that the running cost of a senator is N13.5 million every month,” he reportedly said.

He was quoted as saying there is no specific instruction on what the fund should be used for but emphasised that lawmakers must provide receipts to back up their expenses from the running costs.

“What I am saying is that that money (N13.5 million per month) must be receipted for what you do with it. But what you are given to go and spend without any accountability is N750,000.00,” he 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.

“You will be told that you have N200 million with an agency of government for which you will now submit projects equivalent to that amount. And it is that agency of government that will go and do those projects for you.

“Now, the corruption comes when the projects are not done and the money is taken. But right now, it is difficult to do that because NGOs and transparency groups have come into it. They track every allocation made to you and where they are being used.

“So, it’s becoming difficult for what used to happen in the past to happen now. But I can tell you that I would love a situation where we do away with running costs, constituency projects and leave senators and members of house of reps with salaries.

“And also, the public should be informed that nobody should come to any senator’s house asking for any kobo. That also would be helpful.”

The lawmaker said he was against the idea of legislators carrying out constituency but said constituents might not know the relevance of lawmakers if they do not construct projects in their constituencies.

“There are issues that we need to understand. First, I don’t believe that members of the national or even state assemblies should be involved in carrying out what is called constituency projects,” he said.

“When people are elected into the national assembly, they should just be involved in lawmaking, raising motions, bills and also performing oversight functions.

But we live in a society where people cannot differentiate between the legislators and the executive.

“When the people come to you, they want you to build roads, dig boreholes, build hospitals, schools, give money, pay school fees for them. Now, if we have a society in which people will stop asking legislators to do those things, then there is no need (for the allowances) But funny enough, if you are very active in the national assembly in making laws and you don’t embark on projects in your constituency, you cannot in any way be appreciated by the people you are there to serve because the electorates in United States are different from the electorates in the United States and Africa.

“We live in an underdeveloped society with a lot of poverty, misery and wants. What people want is for you to address those basic fundamental issues that affect their lives.

“If we can be done with that, it would be okay. Now, you are talking of bogus salaries and bogus allowances – there are three steps you need to consider – the first has to do with the fact when you represent the people, expectations arose from your immediate and the larger constituencies.

“But I agree with you that the salaries and allowances of lawmakers should not be discreet, but what is discreet about it when you can write to Resource and Fiscal Mobilization Commission to get everything about what a senator earns?

“The only money you are not expected to account for is your salary and the salary of a senator is abou

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Politics

Jonathan: PDP is coming back in 2019

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is getting stronger and poised to take over power come 2019.
Jonathan said this on Wednesday when he hosted Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, in his house in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital.
Jonathan, who lost to President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015 is optimistic that his party is now in a better position to regain its ruling status.
“I believe PDP is coming back and getting stronger,” he said.
“Yes, we had some issues in 2015. But as you know politics is a very dynamic business. Even though we are in the opposition with fewer governors, PDP is still the strongest and largest party.”
Abubakar, in a similar manner, also said there is no other party that has the structure and strength like the PDP.
The former number two citizen who lost in the APC primary election that produced Buhari, has since defected to the PDP and he is aspiring to run under the platform in 2019.
“It is actually the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that has the strength and structure to get back to Aso Rock,” he said, adding that “without PDP, APC should not have been in Aso Rock.”
He also expressed his disappointment with the current administration.
“Have we ever had this rate of unemployment and poverty in Nigeria? Have we ever had five sets of exchange rate before in this country? Have we ever had so much insecurity like this before? No! Have we ever been this divided before in this country? No!”

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Politics

2019: Atiku meets Goodluck Jonathan in Bayelsa

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As the 2019 election gets closer, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday met with former president, Goodluck Jonathan.
They met in Bayelsa home of the former president.
However, details of their meeting were not disclosed as at the time of filing this report.
Before now, both men have always been on opposite sides politically until Atiku made his move to join PDP last year.
Meanwhile, Atiku is set to compete with two times Senator, Ahmed Makarfi for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, nomination form ahead of the 2019 presidential election.

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Fighting corruption: Probe your 2015 campaign fund, PDP tells Buhari

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Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to show his sincerity in the fight against corruption by probing the source of his campaign fund in 2015 general elections.
President Muhammadu Buhari
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, who stated this at the 2018 Ogidi Day celebration, at Ogidi, Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, claimed it was ironical that the president had allegedly been speaking with both sides of the mouth on issue of fighting corruption.
Ologbondiyan said: “The President’s remark sounded strange to us in the Peoples Democratic Party because we believe as a party that the president has been providing cover for alleged looters around him and we believe that if the president is sincere about the fight against corruption he should make a public disclosure about how his election fund in 2015 was raised.
“He should tell us who contributed what, but, if he refuses to do that, Mr President does not have any moral platform upon which he would stand and accuse any Nigerian of being a thief.
“The PDP is challenging Mr President that he should make a full disclosure of how his election money was raised in 2014 and he should tell us what was the contribution of the people.”
Speaking on the plan by some former members of the party and others to return to PDP, Ologbodiyan said the doors of the PDP were wide open for anybody that was ready to rescue the nation from alleged misrule of All Progressives Congress, APC.

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