Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume, on Tuesday said the National Assembly was broke and experiencing difficulties in meeting its financial obligations.
Reacting to newspaper reports that the legislature was facing financial challenges, Ndume said that the situation was so worrisome that legislators were not receiving their allowances as and when due.
“I know that the whole country is in financial difficulty, not only National Assembly.
I have been in the National Assembly since 2003 but things keep getting worse; I think they paid us last month’s salary on the 16th of the following month or thereabouts,” Ndume told newsmen in Abuja.
He, however, noted that the situation was not peculiar to the legislature, saying that other arms of government, including states, were facing similar problems.
“It is not only with the National Assembly, some states have not been able to pay salaries for six months, one year.
Some states were even asking their workers to go and farm for two days and work for the other three days in a week.
Even in the Presidency, they have tightened their belts on their expenditure and so, it’s a general phenomenon in the country.
We used to receive running costs or allowances quarterly but now it is monthly and it doesn’t come as and when due,” he said.
On public perception of the national assembly, the senate leader said that Nigerians had a wrong impression of the workings of the legislature.
According to him, the perception that Nigerian lawmakers were the most corrupt was untrue.
“If the national assembly is so corrupt and you can make much money, then tell me one national assembly member that is living in luxury after leaving office.
Some of my colleagues who lost out in the 2015 election are struggling to pay their children’s school fees, some of them are even struggling to take care of their health.
If national assembly was where you come and make a lot of money, how come one year after leaving you cannot meet your basic needs,” he said.