In Nigeria, minimum wage is $50, but each senator takes home $40,000 monthly, apart from allowances

Nigerians have been reacting in shock after the Senator Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna Central, revealed that he and his colleagues receive N13.5 million ($37,600) monthly as “running cost”, apart from their salaries.

The money is on top of a salary of N700,000 (more than $2,000) a month - not to mention a yearly constituency budget of $500,000.

Meanwhile, Nigeria's minimum wage is just N18,000 ($50) a month and many civil servants are being owed several months of salaries.

The President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Mr. Bobboi Kaigama, recently revealed that 35 out of the 36 states in Nigeria are owing their workers salaries despite the billions of Paris Club refunds they have received from the Federal government.

“We want to say without fear of contradiction that the only healthy state in this country that has no arrears of salaries and other wages or unpaid benefits is Lagos State. All the other states have one issue or the other in terms of salaries, wages or benefits of their workers that have not been paid. There is no exception.

In an interview with TheNews, Senator Sani said: “I think what we can say is that the running cost of a senator is N13.5 million every month.

“But 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.”

“The constituency project itself is given on a zonal basis and almost every senator will go with a constituency fund of about N200 million ($558,000), 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.”

Since the disclosure last week, Nigerians have been venting their anger on social media.
Adeola Fayehun
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