89.1 WEMU

Nigerians Express Outrage Over Parliament's 'Wardrobe Allowance'

Jun 17, 2015
Originally published on June 22, 2015 7:18 pm
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Twitter-sphere in Nigeria is buzzing with outrage. There are reports that lawmakers there are poised to share in a $45 million wardrobe allowancem - this, in a county where many people survive on a few dollars a day. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.

OFEIBEA QUIST-ARCTON, BYLINE: News of Nigeria's purported sartorial allowance for members of Parliament has fueled a frenzied debate. Most people are appalled that this could be happening under a newly sworn in President who has vowed zero-tolerance for graft in Nigeria. Tweets are flying on social. @JonathanOdetola tweets (reading) just read about wardrobe allowance. Until General Buhari - read President Muhammadu Buhari - declares war against corruption and indiscipline, no hope ahead. Four-hundred-sixty-nine lawmakers sharing in $45 million perk so that they can look good in Parliament - uh-uh, says Nigerian radio host Omotunde Lolo David. She says Nigerians are speaking out since voting out a sitting president for the first time. @iam_kenzo tweets (reading) what the national assembly members want to share in wardrobe allowances will pay the salaries of half-a-million civil servants on minimum wage. But Nigeria's parliament has rushed to its own defense, saying the $45 million isn't just for clothes. One senator told the local listed newspaper that the money includes the cost of setting up and equipping constituency offices, organizing town hall meetings and other such expenses. Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.