N2 Million Question: Senate's Recess Allowance Debate Continues - The Trent

2023-08-12 19:46:36

The Trent

LAGOS, Nigeria -- Just as the recent ministerial screening concluded in the National Assembly, a video clip surfaced with Senate President Godswill Akpabio alluding to a special "token" for Senators.

"In order to enable all of us to enjoy our holidays, a token has been sent to our various accounts by the Clerk of the National Assembly," remarked Akpabio.

While Akpabio would later retract his statement, the online community was set abuzz, with many questioning the nature and purpose of the mentioned allowance.

Senator Abdul Ningi of the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, validated on Friday, August 11, 2023, that some lawmakers had indeed received a sum of N2 million as a recess allowance.

However, Ningi admitted, "Nothing has come to my account yet. I heard that some people got N2 million but for me, nothing yet. Hopefully [I would get], when they tidy up things."

While discussing the controversy, Senator Ningi didn't mince words about his feelings on Akpabio's disclosure. "Some of these things, if they happen, you don't broadcast it the way he did," said Ningi, who expressed his belief that such a move was "a huge embarrassment to the Senate President as a person and to the institution of the National Assembly."

The questions remained: What are the allowances for? Who approved them? And are they a standard part of their remuneration? The Bauchi Central lawmaker found himself as perplexed as the public, confessing, "I don't know what N2 million would do for a holiday. I find it very difficult to understand what this money is for."

Senator Ningi's revelations have only intensified the debate, with many Nigerians awaiting an official explanation from the Senate upon their return.

The heart of the matter? Determining the exact purpose of this mysterious allowance, especially because recess allowances are not customary for Nigerian lawmakers.

2023-08-12 News