Senator defends National Assembly members’ multibillion-naira allowances
Senator Sadiq Umar, representing Kwara North Senatorial District, in the 10th National Assembly, has defended the controversial multi-billion naira car and office allowances disbursed to members of the National Assembly.
Gists villa recalls that the allowances triggered mixed reactions from Nigerians who criticized President Bola Tinubu for releasing such huge amounts at a time he was asking citizens to endure hardship occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.
However, speaking on Tuesday, at the 39th Media Parliament, in Ilorin, organised by the Kwara State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Senator Sadiq, vehemently defended the allowances.
“The car and office allowances for new members of the national assembly, is true.
“Our society, needs to be less sentimental and more rational and pragmatic in assessing and criticizing our leaders.
“Normally, every assembly is a life of its own, the 9th Assembly is dead and closed. By the time we closed it on June 11,2023, its life is closed,” he declared.
According to Senator Sadiq, “Even if we passed bills in the 9th Assembly, by the time we closed it on June 11,2023, all those bills not passed are gone and we must bring them all over again.
“As a member of the 9th National Assembly, if you don’t come back again, you are out and your office systems will be gone with your exit.
“So for every Assembly, there are items that would be bought for the new Assembly members to do their work in their constituencies, do their oversight functions and buy new computers among others.”
He argued that no new Senator or member of the National Assembly will want to use the old computers or office items met in their respective offices.
“That money you heard about is the one they will use to buy cars and new computers for the new senators, renovate their offices and pay support staff salaries. That is the noise you hear.”
Hr added, “Democracy is a process and people will later get to know that we are the people on their side. It is true, money was approved to buy new cars for senators, I am sure you too will be disappointed if your senator goes to Abuja and comes back home with a Tokunbo car, because you expect that they should give him a new car to travel and come and work for you.
“I have not even seen the money, all I know is that they will give me somethings I need to work with.”