Senate President Bukola Saraki is set to disclose details of the salaries and allowances of Nigerian Senators to the “inquisitive” public.

Saraki on Tuesday sent an invitation to representatives of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to his attend his office in Abuja on Thursday for full disclosure of senators salaries and allowances.

In a statement, SERAP Deputy Director Timothy Adewale said “We are pleased to accept the invitation from the Senate President to visit the National Assembly to discuss matters of public interest following SERAP’’s letter to Saraki to disclose details of salaries and allowances of members of the Senate,”

He added “We will use the opportunity of the face-to-face meeting to ask pertinent questions and seek detailed information and clarifications on the exact salaries and allowances that each senator receives monthly or yearly.”

The SERAP official explained that SERAP  was contacted by the Office of the Senate President to set up the meeting for Thursday following an earlier request to Saraki to  “urgently explain to Nigerians if it is true that a Nigerian Senator gets N29 million in monthly pay, and over N3 billion a year.”

The meeting, is scheduled for 1pm at the National Assembly Complex.

Mr Bamikole Omishore, the Special Adviser to Saraki on New Media, had said on Sunday in Abuja that he would contact SERAP and other CSOs for a meeting to give more details on the yearly earnings of senators.

Omishore said, “The attention of the office of the President of the Senate has been drawn to demand for more details regarding the earnings of senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Having released the breakdown of the National Assembly budget, the most comprehensive in the history of Nigerian Senate, it seems the release of pay slips is yet to clarify earnings of Nigerian senators.

senate 1
Nigerian Senators

“The Senate President has agreed to a roundtable with SERAP and other CSOs to enlighten them and answer genuine questions regarding the matter. I will make contact with SERAP and other CSOs for a date convenient for all parties in the next few days,” Mr. Omishore also said.

It would be recalled that Professor Itse Sagay, Chairman Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC), had alleged that a Nigerian Senator gets N29 million in monthly pay. But the Senate has so far refused to confirm or deny this allegation.

Subsequently, SERAP wrote Saraki stating that, “The ‘sky will not fall’ if details of a Nigerian Senator’s salaries and allowances are published on a dedicated website. SERAP believes that releasing the information on salaries and allowances of members of the Senate would encourage a nuanced, evidence-based public debate on what would or should be a fair salary for a member of the Senate.”

The organization said that, “It is by making transparency a guiding principle of the National Assembly that the Senate can regain the support of their constituents and public trust, and contribute to ending the country’s damaging reputation for corruption.”

The statement further reads: “Transparency is a fundamental attribute of democracy, a norm of human rights, a tool to promote political and economic prosperity and to curb corruption. For the Senate, practising transparency should start with the leadership being open to Nigerians on the salaries and allowances of members.”

“SERAP strongly believes that it is by knowing exactly how much their lawmakers earn as salaries and allowances that members of the National Assembly can remain accountable to Nigerians and our citizens can be assured that neither fraud nor government waste is concealed.”



“If the Senate under your leadership is committed to serving the public interest, it should reaffirm its commitment to openness by urgently publishing details of salaries and allowances of members. But when the Senate leadership routinely denies access to information on matters as basic as salaries and allowances of our lawmakers because some exceptions or other privileges override a constitutional and statutory disclosure requirement, open government would seem more like a distant, deferred ideal than an existing practice.”

“The continuing refusal by the Senate to reveal concrete information about the salaries and allowances of their leadership and members could ultimately endanger the healthy development of a rule-of-law state.”

“SERAP is concerned that the Senate seems to consider releasing concrete information about salaries and allowances of members to be at best a burden and, at worst, a threat to their legislative functions. Releasing information on your salaries and allowances would not interfere with your law-making functions. In fact, doing so would improve public confidence in the ability and legitimacy of the Senate to perform those functions and make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the Federation.”

“By permitting access to information on your members’ salaries and allowances long shielded unnecessarily from public view, the Senate would be moving towards securing the confidence of Nigerians in the legislature. The Senate would also be establishing a more solid political base from which to perform its legislative duties and to fulfill its role in the balance of power within the Nigerian constitutional order.”

“Transparency is necessary for accountability, and helps to promote impartiality by suppressing self-interested official behavior. It also enables the free flow of information among public agencies and private individuals, allowing input, review, and criticism of government action, and thereby increases the quality of governance.”

The break down of the salaries and allowances as provided by Professor Sagay are as follows:

Basic salary N2,484,245.50;

Hardship allowance N1,242, 122.70;

Constituency allowance N4, 968, 509.00;

Furniture allowance N7, 452, 736.50;

Newspaper allowance N1, 242, 122.70.

Wardrobe allowance N621,061.37;

Recess allowance N248, 424.55;

Accommodation 4,968,509.00;

Utilities N828,081.83;

Domestic staff N1,863,184.12;

Entertainment N828,081.83;

Personal assistant N621,061.37;

Vehicle maintenance allowance N1,863,184.12; 

Leave allowance N248,424.55;

Severance gratuity N7, 425,736.50;

Motor vehicle allowance N9, 936,982.00.





I’ve just concluded my Narcos Marathon/Binge which ever you like, I cannot but draw some similarities to the gravity of the cocaine problem they had in Colombia with first Escobar and thereafter, The Cali cartel.

Just as The Cali Cartel ran a cocaine empire, Nigerian leaders have continued to run empires built simply on corruption. They are all mega rich, yet, there are no accounts of huge inheritances traceable to their family lines or even highly profitable businesses that may have been handed over from their forebears. The fact is, corruption has always been the means of everything they posses.

Just like cocaine funded politics and politicians in Colombia in the years depicted in Narcos, corruption has and continues to fund politics and politicians in Nigeria, no political campaign in Nigeria can claim to be innocent of this, we all saw the revelations of how PDP was being funded at our expense, the unfortunate part is that the APC led by the president himself must come clean on how it was funded too. The Cali Cartel’s Chief Accounted kept a coded ledger of payouts to politicians including as high as the presidency, one wonders who is keeping a ledger on the corrupt activities of those in government.


The unfortunate thing about this is that our corruption fighting agency heads are appointees of whoever is the leader, so accountability is nonexistence at the very top. So, there isn’t any possibility of the rise of a completely clean and dedicated officer like the agent in Narcos. He needed to push so hard for the truth only to realise that the Department he works for actually knew so much more than they are telling him. I’m guessing they never even wanted him to succeed but he did, bringing down larger than life cartel bosses and getting them imprisoned for life.

Just like in my country, the foreign powers are all well aware of the whereabouts of the stolen fortunes of Nigeria and those who have stolen them. They only give up those who may have died in power or are simply of not needed in the furtherance of their agendas. The American government, as depicted in Narcos knew that even the Colombian President got funding from the cartel, they knew that the minister for defence had been bought by the cartel just like the entire armed forces of that country save a few incorruptible officers.

Steve Murphy and Javier Pena – the relentless NARC detectives (played by Boyd Holbrook and Pedro Pascal, inset) who hunted and took down Escobar

Watching the Narcos series for me, was like watching my country in a mirror, the people of Colombia like us Nigerians didn’t know much better, they were just as gullible as we are now, thinking that the cartel was a benefit to them and their country, today in Nigeria, we worship corrupt public official just because we have tribal bonds with them; we shout and cry for help in rooting out corruption then when the whole nation eventually votes for someone who claims not to be corrupt and intends to wipe out corruption, we begin to cry foul.

Unfortunately, the president hasn’t helped himself at sustaining much of his personal integrity, he hasn’t been bold like the cartel fighters in Cali in dealing with our corruption problem. What is shocking though is the result so far achieved by the EFCC under PMB, apparently, over 400billion Naira has been recovered in less than a year? That sounds amazing until you realise the fact that the Buhari’s war on corruption has been largely toothless and lookwarm. So if being that lacklustre the war on corruption has achieved that much, why aren’t we looking to up the ante? Why aren’t we getting aggressive with this problem?

In Colombia, the head of the Cali cartel was the first to be put in jail why has the PMB’s administration not done that in Nigeria? Bring down a big hitherto untouchable corruption lord and send shockwaves to the corruption fibre of our nation. Robert Greene the popular best selling author stated in one of his books the 48 laws of power, “strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter” in other words, to scatter the sheep of corruption in our nation, we must strike the shepherd. The Buhari administration disappointed a few of us when it failed to constitute a special judicial panel to try and send most of our nation’s notable looters to jail.

The fight against corruption in Nigeria like that fought against cocaine and money laundering in Cali only requires someone so determined, incorruptible who’s willing to achieve results and can inspire a team of like minds in order for our nation to be saved.

**Victor is a UK based broadcaster and social commentator. He is also an award winning MC and Events Host

Victor Oluwole



The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday said Nigeria would remain a united country.

Speaking at a meeting with the 36 state governors in Abuja, Mr. Osinbajo told the governors that they “must ensure the security of lives and property” in their states, adding “Nigeria is indissoluble.”

The meeting is part of a series of meetings the acting president is having with ethnic, religious and political leaders to douse tensions in the country.


The tensions got worse after a Northern youth coalition asked all Igbos living in Northern Nigeria to leave.

The call has been condemned by local and national officials including the federal government.

“We must not allow careless use of words to degenerate into crisis,” Mr. Osinbajo told the governors.


Mr. Osinbajo also said that he reached a number of agreements with a cross section of leaders from the north and south-eastern part of Nigeria, whom he met with earlier in the week.

He said the meetings with the two sets of leaders agreed that “Nigeria’s unity should not be taken for granted” adding “no one wants to see us go down the path of bloodshed or war.”

The acting president also said the meetings agreed on the Nigerian 1999 constitution as the basis for the country’s unity. He said it was agreed that the constitution is the basis for the legal contract that exists between all Nigerians.

“Our meetings were frank and open as I hope this will be. We were able to agree on most of the critical issues that were discussed and in most cases changed perceptions that may have been long embedded in their minds.

“We also agreed that under no circumstances should we condone hateful speeches and that governments should take all steps necessary to bring to book all those who preach violence, in particular the kind of expressions of dissent that can cause violence.

“We also agreed that we need to do more to engage our youth productively, create some jobs and multiply the economic opportunities available.

“More importantly we agreed on the need for leaders to speak out forcefully to counter divisive speech or any kind of war mongering.

“We agreed that leaders at all levels speak out forcefully against any kind of divisiveness or divisive speech. And we expect that our political leaders will do so without waiting to be prompted,” he said.




The acting president said most of those who spoke expressed the view that sometimes when leaders do not speak up promptly, the problems degenerate no matter what they are.

This applied to both the statement made by the young people in the south-east as well as the youth in the northern states.

“We discovered that there was a need for much greater resonance in the way that these things are done and for the leaders to speak up more forcefully.

“We believe that if the leaders do not speak up forcefully enough, if for any reason matters are allowed to degenerate, not only does leadership lose their legitimacy, they run the risk of things going completely out control,” Mr. Osinbajo said.

He commended the leaders from the North and South for their openness at the consultations saying “that they were extremely responsible even in their criticisms of what they felt were issues that should have been better handled.”

“I think that their criticisms were fair and balanced. I must commend them for their sense of responsibility and their leadership,” he said.


Mr. Osinbajo urged the governors to unite with themselves and the federal government to “resolve various challenges that arise on a constant basis for the benefit of all Nigerians regardless of party affiliations”.

He called on the governors to resist the temptation to play politics especially with matters of security.

“Sometimes intensions are perceived on the account of the fact that they have wrong perception about a particular thing.

“I think it is in our place to ensure that we dig down the fact and ensure that people are given the fact and ensure that we don’t colour them with politics,” he said.

The meeting was also attended by some ministers, heads of the nation’s security agencies, and top officials in the presidency.




On his first official visit since being made a Patron of the charity organisation, ” FOCUS ON DISABILITY FOUNDATION [FODF], Dr Abbey Akinoshun was recently in Nigerian to present school materials and school uniforms to the five Lagos orphans being supported by the Charity.focus5focus4focus3focus2

Dr AkinoshunDr Abbey, a London based Employment Law Consultant and former Green Party UK Parliamentary Candidate said he is humbled to be carrying out a job that puts a smile on the faces of others and much fulfilled in the role given him by FOD. He urged others to “join us to make a difference in our society”.

Founded by Abiodun Paseda, Focus on Disability Foundation is a UK based charity working to support the charitable work of Focus on Disability Foundation (Nigeria)  alongside partner organisations in Nigeria to achieve equal rights for the people with disabilities


*Please contact FODF if you are interested in their various projects in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. You can visit their website at http://www.fodfoundation.org/



The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has reported that Nigeria’s foreign debt is currently at 11.41 billion dollars. It’s domestic debts was reported as N14.02 trillion. Both figures are as at 2016.

The NBS stated in “Nigerian Domestic and Foreign Debt – 2016’’ data, posted on its website on Wednesday in Abuja, that the sum reflected the states’ and Federal debt stock.

The report showed that 7.99 billion dollars of the debt was multilateral; $198.25 million dollars was bilateral (AFD) while 3.22 billion dollars from the Exim Bank of China credited to the Federal Government.

“Total Federal Government debt accounted for 68.72 per cent of Nigeria’s total foreign debt while all states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) accounted for the remaining 31.28 per cent.

“Similarly, total Federal Government debt accounted for 78.89 per cent of Nigeria’s total domestic debt while all states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) accounted for the 21.11 per cent balance.’’

The report further gave a breakdown of the Federal Government domestic debt stock by instruments reflected that N7.56 trillion or 68.41 per cent of the debt were in Federal Government Bonds.

About “N3.28 trillion or 29.64 per cent are in treasury bills and N215.99 million or 1.95 per cent are in treasury bonds.

“Lagos State has the highest foreign debt profile among the 36 states and the FCT accounting for 38.70 per cent.

“Kaduna (6.25 per cent), Edo (5.15 per cent), Cross River (3.22 per cent and Ogun (2.90 per cent) followed closely.’’

According to NAN, the report stated that Lagos State had the highest domestic debt profile among the thirty-six and the FCT accounting for 10.54 per cent.

“Delta (8.15 per cent), Akwa Ibom (5.25 per cent), FCT (5.16 per cent) and Osun (4.97 per cent) followed in that order,’’ the report stated.





Lest we forget.

“Former President Goodluck Jonathan, reflecting on his electoral defeat two years ago, shunned deep introspection and remorse for his five-year reign of impunity. What comes out from him from excerpts of a new book is a potpourri of falsehoods, hypocrisy, lame excuses and blame for everyone but himself. But before Nigerians fall once more for his favourite tactic of playing the victim, they would do well to remember the devastating impact of his bad government.
Words attributed to him in a book, Against the Run of Play, by Olusegun Adeniyi, a well-known journalist, and billed for public presentation in Lagos on Friday, were vintage Jonathan. Posing yet again as the perpetual victim, he blamed former world leaders − Barack Obama of the United States, Britain’s David Cameron, and French president, Francois Hollande − for desperately wanting a change of government in Nigeria. He blamed Attahiru Jega, the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, for allegedly working with the Americans by insisting on the initial February 2015 date set for the presidential election; he blamed his own former party chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, whom he accused of working against him, and he carpeted the press and civil society for highlighting the pervasive corruption that flourished on his watch.



Jonathan blamed Muazu, former PDP Chairman, Former INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, French President Francois Hollande, Former American President Barak Obama and former British Prime Minister David Cameron for various reasons



First, the context: As he left a limping economy and widescale corruption behind, Jonathan’s five years at the helm were an unmitigated disaster for Nigeria, the effects of which 170 million Nigerians are experiencing today. He ran the economy aground, failing like his predecessors to diversify effectively and entrenching what The Economist of London labelled “a rentier state.” His government despoiled all fiscal buffers − foreign reserves hardly rose despite persistently high oil prices until August 2014.

In its defence, his finance minister claimed that it was $43.13 billion that was inherited, yet, despite oil prices averaging $90-$103 per barrel up till mid-2014, reserves moved barely perceptively, while the Excess Crude Account had crashed from $22 billion to only $2.2 billion when Muhammadu Buhari took over by mid-2015.

Jonathan left no major new signature infrastructure project; only inflated repair projects which are mired in controversy.

Arguably his greatest disservice that ought to have been his major triumph was the badly managed privatisation of power assets that transferred most of the generation and distribution companies to untested, incompetent domestic consortia that have saddled Nigeria with a legal quagmire.

But it is in the areas of corruption and security that Nigerians were mostly badly done in by that terrible government. Jonathan’s denial that he dismissed corruption allegations as “mere stealing” is false. He declared this on local and international TV. Corruption ran riot on his watch, as attested to by the latest scandals involving his wife, the suspended spy chief who stashed away $43 million in a Lagos apartment, the missing oil receipts being probed in parliament, as well as the $2.1 billion arms purchase fund that ended up in private hands.


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While he is whining that Obama and other world leaders, civil society, the media and the opposition alleged corruption “without proof,” the world is still aghast at a sprawling corruption scandal centred on the abuse of N2.53 trillion petrol subsidy in 2011 when only N248 billion was approved in the budget. His government also signed away N603 billion in less than a year for dubious import duty waivers, exemptions and concessions, according to Customs.

The fraud associated with oil swap agreements is still unfolding. Hypocritically, he claimed to have dropped Stella Oduah as Aviation minister when evidence emerged, but said he retained Diezani Alison-Madueke as oil minister “because there was no foolproof evidence.”


This same ex-minister is alleged to have withdrawn millions of dollars to finance his re-election bid for which she and many others, including electoral officials, are being tried.

He disingenuously discredited the Nuhu Ribadu panel report on the grounds of disagreement among some members, but failed to say that he had appointed Steve Oronsaye and Bernard Otti to the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in an obvious move of brinksmanship.
It is not too late for Jonathan to grow up. He may think Nigerians have forgotten and that it is time to move on. This is fantasy. All the colossal scandals that defined his time in government will live on in the minds of the people who bear the burdens of his misrule. Former president Olusegun Obasanjo, who broke all party rules to make him deputy to the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, is quoted in the same book as admitting that from his first days in office, “…he showed that he was too small for the office.” He demonstrated this in his mishandling of the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency. Boko Haram has killed over 25,000 people, displaced over two million and once held 27 local government areas as its “caliphate.”


Rather than take full charge, he allowed his generals to turn it into a gold mine for corrupt enrichment, an ATM, according to Obasanjo, for taking money from the treasury.

The influential The Economist once declared that Jonathan ran the most corrupt, most clueless government in Nigeria’s history. We can’t agree more. Indeed, we hold him and his corrupt generals responsible for the failure to rescue the 276 Chibok girls in 2014.

His false narrative that he did try to rescue them contradicts reports that he failed to act when initially informed, continuing to view terrorism as a personal conspiracy against him.
Surprisingly, Jonathan has not changed, falsely asserting and boorishly claiming that Boko Haram is being defeated because Buhari is a Muslim, not viewed as an “infidel’’ like he was. But salafist militants view all existing governments as infidels to be violently overthrown. They target the Muslim leaders of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Chechnya, Algeria and Bahrain.

Boko Haram has killed emirs and has vowed to kill Buhari, the Emir of Kano and the Sultan of Sokoto, the nominal head of Nigerian Muslims.
Jonathan incorrigibly blamed the media for his electoral defeat. We insist he lost the election because he was a total failure. He cites high figures of votes for Buhari in Kano, but was silent on equally suspicious figures for him from the South-South states, from Rivers or from Akwa Ibom and Delta states where votes recorded for him doubled the number of accredited voters.

But we hold President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian people culpable for providing the leeway for Jonathan to trample on our collective memory. While the Buhari government has demonstrated lack of courage to bring Jonathan to justice, many Nigerians celebrate, instead of rising against corruption. Across the world, people of conscience are marching in their thousands to protest against corruption; in broken, dysfunctional Nigeria, hundreds are, for a few wads of naira, marching, vandalising property, and preaching hate in defence of the corrupt. The officials on trial who have claimed to have been obeying Jonathan’s orders by collecting and distributing public funds provide enough grounds to put him also on trial.

The anti-corruption war cannot go far unless Jonathan is confronted in court with his misdeeds. Past rulers who break the law are put in the dock. South Korea, Guatemala, Brazil, Peru, Zambia, Italy, France are ready examples. No one should be above the law.
Buhari should save his reputation by pulling out all the stops in the war on graft. Far too many ex-Presidents have demonstrated this belief that they are above the law.

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Jonathan failed to bring corrupt past leaders to justice, but Buhari must bust the myth. Nigerians should realise that corruption has ruined their present and rendered the future gloomy for their children and rise up against corrupt leaders − past and present.

As for Jonathan, he should be reminded that the history of his administration is already being written and it is neither flattering nor can he remodel it with falsehood and whining hypocrisy.”



A recent global human development index report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) rated Gabon above Nigeria.

A total of 188 countries were surveyed in the 2016 report, released on Tuesday.

While Nigeria ranked 152 – the position it occupied last year, Gabon was placed at 109. Equatorial Guinea was 135 on the list, and Ghana and Zambia maintained 139.

The report placed Nigeria under “low human development” in its four levels of human development group.

The groups are very high human development, high human development, medium human development and low medium development.

The 2016 human development report focused on “communities that have been left behind, despite development progress over the last 25 years”.


Nigeria scored low on Human Development and ranked 17th most developed in Africa


An analysis of the report done by TheCable put Nigeria as the 17th most developed country in Africa, and 13th most developed country in sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the report, countries under certain groups remain acutely disadvantaged. These groups include women and girls, rural communities, and persons with disabilities.

There were five categories of rankings based on the index. They were very high human development, which had about 51 countries with Norway, Australia, Switzerland and Germany occupying the top four spots, respectively.

There was also the high human development category, which had countries like Belarus, Oman, Barbados and Uruguay, among others.

The report listed Moldova, Botswana, Gabon and Paraguay as the medium human development countries, while countries like Swaziland, Syria, Angola and Nigeria were listed among low human development countries.

Ojijo Odhiambo, the economic adviser, Nigeria and ECOWAS, UNDP,  said despite Nigeria’s 152nd ranking, the country recorded some improvement in the number of points that made up the index.

He said the reason why Nigeria retained its position was because as the country was making progress, other countries were also improving on their indices.

Odhiambo said between 2005 and 2015, Nigeria moved from a human development index of 0.466 to 0.527, adding that this was an increase of 13.1 per cent.

He, however, said there was a need for the country to redouble its effort in making sure that it addressed the factors that were impeding its improvement on the index.

Some of them are the issues of inequality, education, discrimination among women, promotion of social inclusion and accountability, as well as the upholding of human rights.

Odhiambo added that in sub-Saharan Africa alone, an estimated $95 billion was being lost annually to discrimination against women in the labour market.

He said there was a need for policy action by the government in addressing these issues.