The Nigerian senate cannot disclose its salaries and allowances, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi, has stated.

Abdullahi made an appearance on Channels TV’s Politics Today, and told the presenter that it was rude to ask him how much each senator earned.

Abdulahi said, “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?”

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“Figures released by Sagay false” – Senate

He also reacted to figures made public by the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), claiming they were false.

“From the information I have gathered, a Nigerian senator earns about N29m a month and over N3bn a year,” the professor had said.

He added, “Basic salary N2,484,245.50; hardship allowance, 1,242, 122.70; constituency allowance N4, 968, 509.00; furniture allowance N7, 452, 736.50; newspaper allowance N1, 242, 122.70.

“Wardrobe allowance N621,061.37; recess allowance N248, 424.55; accommodation 4,968,509.00; utilities N828,081.83; domestic staff N1,863,184.12; entertainment N828,081.83; personal assistant N621,061.37; vehicle maintenance allowance N1,863,184.12; leave allowance N248,424.55; severance gratuity N7, 425,736.50; and motor vehicle allowance N9, 936,982.00.”

Senator Abdullahi said in response: “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?’”