[Chairman, Ad hoc Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Dino Melaye]
Efforts to reduce Senators salaries and allowances on Wednesday failed as lawmakers kicked proposal to cut their pay at the closed door session.
The report of the Senate ad hoc Committee that had earlier scheduled for debate was postponed in Senate's order paper was postponed for further legislative input.
After more than two hours of deliberations behind closed doors senators were inconclusive on the Review of the Finance of the Senate.
At the closed door session which lasted for about one and half hour, many senators kicked against the proposal to slash lawmakers’ salaries.
Lawmakers during the closed session agreed that the Red chambers alone cannot reach any conclusion on pay cut since the budget of the National Assembly is shared by all the agencies involved in legislative business like House of Representative, National Assembly Management, National Assembly Service Commission, Nigerian Institute of Legislative Studies, Public Conduct Commission and others.
Addressing the Journalists after the session, Chairman, Ad hoc Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Dino Melaye said that senate in its wisdom decided to stand down further considerations on the Report of the Ad-hoc Committee on the Review of the Finances of the Senate pending full consultations with all stake holders.
He informed journalists that for over 6 years now, the budget of the National Assembly has always been around 150b naira but in 2015 NASS budget proposal is 120b naira which saves the country 30b naira.
In his words, "For the past five years, the budget of the NASS has always been N150 billion. But the 2015 Budget of the NASS is N120 billion.
“Already, there has been a reduction of N30 billion in the budget of the NASS. And this N120 billion is to be shared among about six, seven organs of the NASS - the NASS Serv Comm, the Senate, the HOR, the Institute, the Public Conduct Commission (PCC) amongst other arms of the NASS, including salaries and allowances of the legislative aides, numbering over 3,000. They are all inclusive.
"I have just said that the resolutions of the sitting today is that we would make wider consultations with the HOR on the report because we have one NASS, and whatever is going to affect the Senate, the HOR should also be carried along, and I'm sure, after this consultation we'll get back to the public."
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