SaharaReporters on Wednesday on Twitter and Facebook published the telephone numbers of Nigeria’s federal lawmakers as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance transparency and open government in the country.
The list, which is still being updated, contains the numbers of most members of the 109-member Senate and the House of Representatives, is already generating a lot of interest from constituents who have begun to interact with their representatives by phone and text messages. Many of them are also including the legislators on such social media platforms as WhatsApp and Snapchat in a way that could help promote transparency in government, as constituents hold their elected representatives accountable for their actions or lack of them.
Nigerian lawmakers are known to be the highest paid in the world, with huge budgets they allocate to themselves for allowances as well as constituency projects that often exist only in phantom shape.
Perhaps understandably, the lawmakers lead an insular life, avoiding interaction with their constituents and often refusing to use constituency offices as they hide in mansions in Abuja. Many of them often put up fake phones numbers and or non-working contacts.
SaharaReporters will report on the legislators involved in these practices as we update their contact information and their track record. Mindful that most of the lawmakers will respond to our action by seeking to change their contact information now and often, as they seek to avoid work or interaction with the public, we intend to make this a continuous process.
To that end, we invite constituents, readers and the public who interact with them in any public way to share their experiences with these elected officials with us or any other media of their choice. The principle here is simple: anyone in office by virtue of a democratic vote owes accountability to the public, and can only hide behind the truth.
The list of available phone numbers for the Senate can be read here:
The list of available phone numbers for the House of Representatives can be read here: