N4million Allowances: Delegates Spoil For Showdown Over Cut In Payment



The N4million monthly allowance announced for members at the ongoing National Conference in Abuja has been marred by fresh controversy as delegates are poised for confrontation with conference secretariat over alleged short payment of the allowance.

Sources who would not want to be named expressed concern over alleged shortfall in their allowances which was fixed for N4 million per month even as they alleged that only 70 percent of the money got to each delegate.

The alleged discrepancies in the payment of the allowances had made delegates from Lagos states to reject the money, the source said adding that the state governor, Raji Fasola have paid all the delegates from the state coffer.

It was reliably gathered that the disquiet among delegates over the much publicized allowance has now gained popularity among a large number of delegates.

A delegate who spoke on condition of anonymity with our correspondent blamed the federal government for sending wrong signal to the public that each delegate was collecting N4 million amounting to N12million in  three months whereas the total money for each delegate was N2.8 million.

A circular to the delegates revealed that each delegate was entitled to N70, 000 per day as against the initial N112, 000 per day for each delegate. The question being asked now is who proposed N4 million and who gave the directive that N2.8000 should be given to delegates.

Senate Adefemi Kila who commented on the allowances stated that even in the National Assembly members do collect salary aside the transport and accommodation allowance, there was nothing wrong in putting up salary for delegates.

The N4million allowances initially announced for delegates covered their hotel accommodation, transportation and other expenses that would make the delegates comfortable within the three months of their assignment in Abuja.

The announcement also attracted criticisms across the country as many believed the amount was too much.

Curious delegates are now questioning what happened to the approval of N4 million and how the figure dropped to paltry sum of N2.8 million per month.

Newsinvestigators learnt that many of them are now demanding to know what happened to the balance of the money, was it going back to the federal government coffer or some individual in the office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, the convener of the conference were sitting on the money, are questions being asked in hush tone.

Sources close to the secretariat revealed that the issue of money was generating serious crisis as heads may roll in the office of the SSG over this development which government was said to be taken with all seriousness in order not to disrupt the ongoing exercise.

A source told our reporter that the allowances were not statutory, it was based on attendance, “any delegate that missed a day or two days sitting as the case may be, the money would be deducted from the allowance,” the source said.

It was further learnt that some delegates demanded for quick explanations on the allowances before it degenerated to scandal, they claimed that their constituents are already coming with demand, while others are citing the public umbrage against them regarding the amount which in actual fact are not getting to them.