The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, has revealed his monthly salary as the chairman of the National Assembly.
He said he earns N750,000 while other members of the national Assembly receive “what is their salary.”
His declaration, however, excludes other allowances allocated to the lawmakers.
Mr Lawan spoke at the Senators Forum in Abuja on Tuesday.
He had promised that the ninth Senate will be open so Nigerians will know what the lawmakers are doing.
“The 9th National Assembly is going to be open so Nigerians will know what we are doing. I never believe there is anything called jumbo pay to the National Assembly. The National Assembly members receive what is their salary. I receive N750,000 as my salary.
“My office needs to be properly funded and therefore I cannot conduct my oversight without some backing. Nigerians need to understand this. We need to continue relating with Nigerians because they deserve to be explained to,” he said.
According to him, the National Assembly needs proper funding “because the legislature is so critical in any national development.”
The lawmakers further assured that the ninth Senate is determined to ensure that annual budget is passed within three months.
“We believe this is achievable and doable. We will work with the executive to present the appropriation bill in time and maybe at the end of September, the National Assembly will sit and work with the MDAs within a specified time frame and process the budget and before we leave for Christmas by December. We will pass the budget.
“We must ensure that this country moves forward because the economy of Nigeria depends on public expenditure. We want to see a budget process that starts and ends within three months that ends December so we go back to January to December cycle,” he said.
One of the many calls made to lawmakers of previous assemblies has been transparency in the National Assembly budget.
Many activists and Civil Society Organisations have overtime, queried the huge allowances allocated to the lawmakers as they have refused to make the details of their budget public.
One of such allowances that generated controversy in the eight Senate was the N13.5 million paid monthly to senators as ‘running cost’.
On Tuesday, Mr Lawal refused to speak specifically on the running cost, an indication the practise will continue under him.
Another development that characterised previous assemblies was the delay in passage of budgets as well as budget padding. Previous assemblies spent over three months to pass the annual budget and, on several occasions, the National Assembly gave excuses like late presentation, failure of MDAs to appear before committees, oversight functions among others for these delays.
Mr Lawan, however, urged Nigerians to expect very good outcomes from the ninth assembly.