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THE OUTRAGEOUS SALARIES AND ALLOWANCES OF OUR NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERS
The Daily Sun newspaper of Friday 3rd June, 2011 in its cover headline titled ‘Jumbo pay’ made the following revelation. ‘Lawmakers to earn N338.66 billion in the next four years’. The lawmakers here refer of course to the National Assembly. The newspaper which quoted authoritative sources for its disclosure stated that this amount of the tax payers’ money covers only salaries and sundry allowances but does not include expenses incurred on duty tours and estacode. It also does not include the unverifiable lump sum that come from oversight functions and lobbying. The paper went further to state that every senator will earn about N770 million in the next four years while his House of representative counterpart will earn N715 million within the same period. Extrapolating on these figures, it shows that each senator earns a total of N192.5 million a year or an average of N16 million a month. His House of Representative counterpart earns a year or about N14.9 million a month.
Fellow citizens of Nigeria, the above emoluments are for the ‘ordinary’ lawmakers. As for their principal officers, This Day newspaper of Monday June 6th, 2011 went further to state that the Speaker of House of Representative earns N100 million per quarter as quarterly allocation outside his salaries and allowances. This translates to N33.33 million per month. The Deputy Speaker earns N80 million quarterly allocation or N26.66 million a month. The figures for the senate President and deputy Senate President were not made available but you and I can imagine what that will be.
In the nation newspaper of June 13th, 2011 in its front page story, the newspaper stated that former House Speaker of the House of Representative Mr. Dimeji Bankole was charged to court earlier for another N12 billion which the house of Representative obtained from the First Bank of Nigeria three days to the end of its tenure. This loan was taken even in the midst of the public outcry over N10 billion the House earlier obtained from UBA. Bankole’s leadership was said to have taken over N40 billion during its tenure to service illegal allowances of lawmakers.
It has further been reported in the Nation newspaper of June 8, 2011 that as parting gifts for those returning and those not returning, members of the National Assembly are buying official vehicles bought for them in 2008 at the cost of N6 million each for a paltry sum of N200, 000.00. In the same vein their house-hold effects including electronics and office equipments are being auctioned to them at 10% of their original cost.
The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria was recently invited for questioning by the lawmakers for daring to tell Nigerians the bitter truth that the National Assembly of less than 460 members swallows 25% of the nation’s entire annual budget. Poor Sanusi was harassed, intimidated, cajoled, abused, insulted and almost beaten up by the arrogant legislators for exposing their criminal activities. He was even asked to recant his statement.
The question now arises;
1. Who approved these criminal packages for the federal lawmakers and on what basis? Was it the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) or Federal Executive Council (FEC)?
2. If it was neither of the above, which other body or bodies approved these mind boggling emolument for Federal lawmakers?
3. If it was approved by the lawmakers themselves and for themselves, from where did they derive the authority to do so?
4. Which law of the land empowers the Federal lawmakers to fix salaries and allowances for themselves and who passed and signed such a law?
5. Where in the world does anybody have the authority to fix his own salary and allowances?
6. Are the federal lawmakers tin gods that are far and above those that voted them into office or are supposed to be servants of the people?
7. What special functions do our Federal lawmakers perform that entitles them to such horrendous remuneration? Do they perform more duties than the judicial officers, or the security agencies or the medical doctors or the lecturers? Or are their duties more hazardous than those of the above?
8. Does the Speaker of the House of Representative or Senate President perform more duties than the Chief Justice of Nigeria, or the Chief of Defence Staff or Chief of Army Staff etc?
The executive director of Probity in Nigeria a civil society organisation and a human right activist in his latest publications says, I quote “for us in probity in Nigeria, we think that enough is enough. It is time for the civil society, the NBA, NLC, TUC, ASUU, NMA, NANS, Christian and Islamic religious bodies, NCWS, Market Women, FIDA, NUJ, NAWOJ, etc rise up and stage a protest march to the National Assembly to call of the bluff, otherwise from 25% of the national budget the National Assembly will continue to milk the country dry until 100% of our National budget is devoted to them. Even at that their voracious appetite will still not be assuaged”.
He intends to organize a press conference to sensitize the general public on the need for the planned protest march to the National Assembly immediately they resume from their current recess. Our target is for one million –man march to the national assembly.
Please kindly accord us the honour of knowing your views through the e-mail below.
E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
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