For the umpteenth time, salaries and emoluments of Nigeria’s lawmakers had been trailed by controversies. It had been said by Nigerians and outsiders that Nigerian lawmakers are the highest paid legislators in the world taking home as much as over N10 million a month per lawmaker.
Pundits believe that this is extra-ordinary and callous in a country where it is practically impossible for Nigerians to have three square meals a day.
Nigerians have expressed their grievances in many fora over the continued payment of these jumbo salaries and emoluments saying that it sort of repleting the country’s purse rapidly thereby pauperizing the country and its citizens the more.
On their part, the lawmakers had always justified the jumbo pay they get monthly reeling out their responsibilities that warrant such huge pay. They had always claimed that the fat pay they get monthly is not their own doing.
Needless saying that their pay is fast diminishing our common wealth, where the country is hitherto unable to pay the stipulated N18,000 minimum wages by a majority of states across the country, the National Assembly members continue to wallow in undeserved opulence, at least, their lifestyles clearly depict their arrogance and profligacy at all times.
Nigerians had cried hoarse over this unfeeling attitude of our lawmakers. They are quick to pontificate that it is unjustifiable that Nigerian legislators earn more than United States of America’s lawmakers moreso when they are on recess for most part of the year. The number of bills they passed can be counted at the fingertips. In summary, they receive jumbo pay monthly which is not commensurate with their productivity. It is just money going down the drain.
Lamentations by Nigerians that the lawmakers should graciously and voluntarily slash their monthly earnings have been disregarded thus depicting their inhumanity to man. While controversies over this jumbo pay rage, we call on National Assembly Commission Management to respond to the allegation that a senator’s monthly salary is N1.06 million and not N13 million as alleged by the RMFAC.
Government functionaries at all levels including the lawmakers should as a sign of concern for people’s living and wellbeing henceforth hearken to the populace’s cries to slash their salaries and emoluments to stem the poverty staring Nigerians in the face. At least what they remove from their pay would solve some urgent problems for the country. They should do this in the nick of time.
RMFAC on its own part, has a responsibility to tell Nigerians what Nigerian top-paid functionaries take home monthly to lay to rest how much legislators and others receive monthly to put paid to speculations surrounding what top functionaries receive monthly. The country cannot continue to be impoverished at all times by a motley of government functionaries while a majority of Nigerians wallow in abject poverty. It is contrary to the tenets of law and equity.
Nigeria at present is in dire need of funds to prosecute projects it had set for itself, so if it means raking the bottom of the pot by way of slashing jumbo pays of top government functionaries and lawmakers it should embark on such undertaking.
What the lawmakers would sacrifice from their jumbo pay is infinitesimal compared to the austere times Nigerians are currently battling. Let us all start salvaging the country in our own individual way.