The Senate has appealed to Nigerians to save its members from “careless talk” as it denied claims by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) that senators received N100 million as palliative.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media, Yemi Adaramodu, who appeared on the Friday edition of Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said he was sending an SOS to Nigerians over the allegations.
“There’s no smoke, there’s even no fire; maybe people just want to breed very artificial smoke nowadays. We have artificial intelligence (AI) on everything, so it is an artificial smoke,” he said.
“There’s nothing like that. Like we said, we are even sending an SOS to Nigerians to please save us from all this careless talk, careless allegations. But when there’s any discussion anywhere, some people will just construe it and just centre it on the National Assembly.”
Adaramodu further emphasised that the National Assembly played a crucial role in addressing issues affecting the lives of Nigerians such as the removal of fuel subsidies.
“Check government about their feelings on fuel subsidy removal; the first port of call is the National Assembly. Let’s welcome it; it is very good,” he added.
Regarding allegations that funds were allocated to the National Assembly inappropriately, Adaramodu clarified, “Every year, even level one officers in any ministry, department, or agency of government will go on leave, and they are entitled to annual leave bonuses.
“Teachers are entitled to an annual leave bonus, even in the private sector. I have worked with a private sector (company) before, and I was entitled to an annual leave bonus, and it was a percentage of my salary.”
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Yemi Adaramodu, appears on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday, September 15, 2023.
Addressing the turnover of members in the National Assembly, Adaramodu remarked, “Everybody is new in every assembly term because the Ninth Assembly has gone. Even if you are coming for the sixth term, you are new to the state assembly; 356 members of the House of Representatives are new.”
Regarding the allocation of funds for office furniture, Adaramodu explained that the furniture of each senator’s office is the mandate of the bureaucracy of the National Assembly.
“Bureaucracy is the one that is supposed to purchase (furniture). The only thing they can get from it is just the service from the bureaucracy, and that is all. Let the place function.”
Adaramodu also highlighted the diverse workforce within the National Assembly, stating, “When you talk about the National Assembly, it is not only the legislature that is there. We have over 10,000 workers who are Nigerians that are there and they have offices.”
He questioned the feasibility of achieving a 100 percent budget allocation, saying, “And when we say budget, do we even give a budget 100 percent? Is it even possible in Nigeria?”