The Initiator and Chairman, Movement for Nigeria’s Total Transformation, Chief Areoye Oyebola, has decried the non-responsiveness of Nigerian federal lawmakers to the widespread call for the downward review of their “monumental salaries and allowances.”
According to Oyebola, the recent criticism of the federal legislators by the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), was just one of many criticisms that had trailed the lawmakers over the years but to which they had turned deaf EAR
He recalled that he had raised the same issue in a publication, tagged, “Grave Issues Nigeria Must Tackle,” which was publicly presented at a gathering that had in attendance eminent Nigerians such as a former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola(SAN); human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN); and Prof. Pat Utomi.
Oyebola had, in the presentation, decried what he described as the insensitivity of the lawmakers, who he said, were living large in the midst of widespread poverty in the country.
He noted then that the earnings of the United States of America’s President were far lower than what a Nigerian lawmaker took home.
He had said, “It is also strange, unthinkable and very disheartening that a senator, not minding the grinding poverty of Nigerians, earns $1.7m a year, which is far higher than the $400,000 yearly income of the United States’ President, whose stupendous country is the richest in the world. Even a member of the House of Representatives also earns more than the American President. What a tragic and pathetic situation!
“Worse still, each of our National Assembly members earns more than the British Prime Minister, while the pay of a member of Ghana’s unicameral legislature is a very small fraction of our House of Representatives’ member jumbo pay of more than N10m in a month, let alone the monumental quarterly allowances that have led to serious public outcry.
“The multi-million naira earned by the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives even worse, more outrageous and mind-boggling.”
Oyebola noted that despite their modest pay, compared to the Nigerian federal lawmakers, the legislators in Ghana worked harder and “have minimal absenteeism,” while they had also done much to sustain their country’s democracy, “which is a model for many African countries.”
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