Nigerian Senator says questioning him on lawmakers’ salaries ‘silly’

Senator Ben Murray Bruce
Senator Ben Murray Bruce

A Nigerian senator, Ben Murray-Bruce, has said that it is ”silly for certain Nigerians to come to him with questions on the salaries of senators.”

Mr. Murray-Bruce, 61, who represents Bayelsa East Senatorial District, said Saturday on Twitter, “Except you are my constituent, it is silly for anyone to have a problem with the Senate’s salaries and come to me.

“Go to your own senator!” he exploded on his handle.

It is unclear what may have prompted the outburst from the senator, known for issuing short statements on the nation’s socio-economic and political challenges.

However, there has been public pressure on lawmakers to reveal how much they actually receive as salaries and allowances.

The Nigerian Senate and Itse Sagay, an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, for instance, have been sparring lately over the latter’s claim that a senator’s monthly salary was about N29 million and over N3 billion a year.

The Senate said the figures presented by Mr. Sagay were false and exaggerated.

Senators and House of Representatives members reportedly earn as much as N6.78 billion as their official salaries and allowances in one year, according to a report published by PREMIUM TIMES last year.


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  • Arkhuma

    But it is not silly for same Senator to issue uncommon sense rhetorics on occurrences in other constituencies. His misplaced statements on the affairs of Osun state is still on the records. He is a mealymouth politician as far as I’m concerned and for any avoidance of doubt, he is not been paid by his constituency not even his state. The money is from the coffers of the Federal Government, therefore he must be ready to respond to any queries from the nooks and crannies of the nation.

    • persona

      He is a senator of the federal republic and paid , clothed and even secured by Nigerians and not Bayelsa. It is why he is in Abuja and not Bayelsa. They will scream transparency and yet, will tag along with rogues to protect themselves.
      Clearly, Ben is a fraud and Nigeria has since ignored him because while he claims to know, we have also seen that he is one of those that took loans and never repaid thus contributing to the state of our economy in recession.

  • suleiman

    It’s disappointing and shameful for the well-respected senator to say this. Nigerians have a right to know what senators earn. He is a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and owes it as a duty to respond to genuine questions. It is silly for him to respond in the manny he did. What as happened to his common sense talk? Is there common sense in calling people silly who want to know how much senators earn? Money, the Bible says is the root of all evil. The senator can talk about common sense but it must not include his pay. What kind of hypocrisy is that? He has lost my respect!

  • persona

    PT, I see what you guys are doing…its called nepotism.
    When it is Adeosun or a northerner, Saraki, you never say a minister or senator, you call them by their names. Putting the picture there is a weak attempt to deflect and hence very little comments.
    The logic is that, the news will not be archived and used against him, well, that has failed because other news outlets called him out.
    You are part of history, make it fair. If Ben Bruce demands accountability, he should also be accountable, he is a senator of the federal republic and paid, clothed and secured by tax payers, don’t shield him because he’s from the same zone as the writer…we have since noticed that pattern.

  • Gary

    Senator, I agree with you. Let every curious Nigerian ask his own legislator about his pay slip. It’s time we learned to stop being busy-bodies about the antics of legislators who don’t firectly represent us and should be primarily accountable to their constituents. The traducers of Dino Melaye and Bukola Saraki fall into this category. You didn’t and still don’t have a vote on whether they remain in office. Face your own legislators and let their constituents decide their fate. Rather than ginning up Internet bile and outsiders with no legal standing organizing recall campaigns. That is plainly undemocrat and grounds on which Melaye might win in court against. Then we will again be regaled with howls of protests about how a corrupt judiciary is undermining Buhari’s selective fight against corruption.

    So, over to our compatriots in Bayelsa East Senatorial Constituency. If you care, please ask Senator Ben Bruce how much he’s paid to represent you at the National Assembly. Thanks.

    • Timothy

      I see where you are going with this….somehow you want the people to be bold to confront their representatives…at the same time you want the senators to be accountable…but you are not particularly interested in a general questionnaire where a senator can openly say exactly what he gets…its almost like saying theu have the right not answer anyone’s questions because they are not answerable to Nigerians but to their constituents who voted them in? So in order words they work for their constituents and not for Nigerians….therefore let them go and be paid by their constituents…abi dont you think?

      • Gary

        Our best bet in getting answers or results from our legislators is for those who can directly pressure them to do so. You and I can lament the buffoonery of a Dino Melaye doing a silly jig at the Notting Hill Carnival in London or showing his ABU Third Class degree or fleet of luxury vehicles to his hungry and impoverished constituents in Kogi State. But guess what? We don’t have a say in his political fortunes if we are not registered voters in his Senate Constituency. That is just the naked fact of the matter. So why spend time and energy online swallowing Panadol for the headache of the people of Kogi State?
        Every one of us has a Senator and House member representing our hometowns or current place of residence in Nigeria. We voted for these legislators and are thus entitled to ask them ANY question about how they are representing us. Starting with how much they pay themselves from the public treasury. It is our RIGHT to know how much of our money our elected representatives are paying themselves.
        Somebody or people know or should know and are BOUND BY LAW to disclose it on request to the Media, CSO or constituents.
        Our Mumu don Do.

        • Timothy

          Well said…now I get your point…its fruitless confronting them about the matter because like Ben Murray Bruce…they will ignore you and direct you some place else…now I get your point….its not that you dont want but since they have refused…let the people who voted them in ask them…if we all do to our respective senators the truth will come out eventually…thanks for clearing that up

  • Timothy

    Premium Times I beg una….your FACT-CHECK has checked other sectors of this administration and have carefully brought this up and refuse to fact-check it…why now? I beg una make una do the needful…lets have it…..lets know what this people take home. Lets expose everybody for the sake of our future because if we dont do it…tomorrow another breed will enter there and conceal everything…

  • Fredodo1

    It seems these senators have sworn to an oath of silence with one strong juju in that chamber, I wonder what is so difficult for Mr Common Sense senator to bell the cat and disclose his monthly take home.
    The way it is, there is no senator ready to disclose his/her take-home no matter what we all say so we should stop worrying ourselves.
    The only option left to us is to find a hero who will hack into the NASS system and make this information public……here is a challenge to all of us.
    Any Snowden, Assange, Annonymous out there?

    • ordinary man

      Nigeria is built on fraud and on this same building we shall all perish. useless and directionless people. shameless and clueless thieves, evils and devils.

    • Gary

      We have CSOs and the Freedom of Information Act in place to tackle this issue.
      It is simply bewildering that the National Assembly of Nigeria has been allowed to operate as a secret cult over their emoluments by the people whose votes and taxes sustain them in office.
      Unheard of anywhere in the world and a shame that the likes of the current Senate President Saraki and House Speaker Yakubu Dogara insist on keeping this disgraceful PDP-era legacy of David Mark and his corrupt leadership of the NASS.

  • kinsly

    Ĺet Senator Ben Bruce pay back our loan to AMCON, he is owing the tax payers via unpaid debt and yet still stealing from same tax payers via criminal allowances and salaries.

  • Ijeuwa

    Sinator knows that when he receives more than he should and keeps same, he’s a thief.

    That is why he is fuming. It’s a sign of somebody being caught lying or doing something untoward.

    Nigerians should keep pushing and the truth will come out eventually.

    Our legislators are legislooters, period.

    • Okokondem

      Do we not have YouTube videos of Mr Bruce sounding off, portraying himself as a man of virtue, a conscientious Nigerian who abhors the culture of corruption, yet he seems to be justifying the widely reviled and grossly outrageous salary and allowances members of the national assembly claim. I can’t believe he does not see what is wrong with their salary structure.

  • Kayode Oluwaojebi

    This same thoughts flashed through my mind recently that instead of troubling ourselves with how to know what Senators earn perhaps we should ask self professed MOP’s like the ‘Uncommon Sense’ Senator who would gracefully divulge such information. Never knew I was just kidding myself. They are just one of the same kind!