The management of the National Assembly on Tuesday reacted to the controversial “enjoyment allowance” paid to Senators and members of the House of Representatives before they embarked on a long recess last week Monday.
In a statement made available to journalists on Tuesday, the Secretary, of Research and Information, Dr. Ali Umoru, said the said payment to the lawmakers in the upper and lower legislative chambers was mischaracterised, describing such as unfortunate, given that the money is part of their statutory running cost of offices.
The statement read: “The attention of the Management of the National Assembly has been drawn to the persistent mischaracterization and misunderstanding of the payment of N2,000,000.00 (two million naira) allowance to each Senator.
“It should be noted that the two million Naira is part of the running cost of the office of each Senator as provided for in the 2023 budget.
“The allocation for running costs is not a new development; it has been standard practice. These funds are utilized to facilitate various activities that directly contribute to effective representation, legislative activities and other initiatives aimed at serving the interests of the people.
“For the avoidance of doubt and for emphasis, the said allowances were budgeted for in the 2023 Appropriation Act as part of the running cost of the office of each Senator of the 10th Assembly.
“The allowances are, therefore, an entitlement and not a privilege or largesse distributed to the Senators. However, given the wrong impression the subject matter has created, it has become imperative to make this clarification and put the records straight.
“The National Assembly remains committed to transparency and accountability in the management of public funds. We appreciate the continued support and understanding of the Nigerian people as we work together to uphold the principles of democracy and good governance.”