30th November, 2010
Again, it has taken the governor of the countryâ€™s apex bank, Central Bank ofÂ Nigeria, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to remind us of the anomaly and theÂ indefensible remunerations of our lawmakers.
Raising an alarm on the high cost of maintaining the federal legislators, SanusiÂ disclosed what we all know and have condemned in the past that our legislators inÂ Abuja are consuming an outrageous 25 per cent of our nationalÂ expenditure.
The Central Bank boss who was delivering a lecture at the eighth convocation of theÂ Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State expressed fear that the economy would notÂ improve to meet the nationâ€™s target of being one of the 20 largest economies in theÂ world if 25 per cent of the nationâ€™s expenditure continued to be expended on theÂ recurrent expenditure of the National Assembly.
Sanusi also warned that the economy would continue to remain comatose if the trendÂ was not checked.
The CBN governor insisted that there must be cuts in recurrent expenditure so as notÂ to stall the growth and development of the nationâ€™s economy.
We will not be surprised if by tomorrow the legislators started firing salvos atÂ Sanusi for what is obviously an advice from a financial expert. The AbujaÂ legislators are known for tearing into shreds anyone who dared to poke nose intoÂ their finance.
Of course, Sanusi is not the first to criticise the foul and offensive remunerationsÂ of members of the national assembly.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had cause to complain too, about theÂ remunerations and was disparaged by the legislators.
He was called all sorts of names for calling for aÂ reduction in the emoluments ofÂ the legislators for national development.
Professor Itse Sagay, an erudite constitutional lawyer had earlier during a lectureÂ delivered to mark the 47th birthday of Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, Lagos StateÂ Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos, denounced what he called theÂ obscene remunerations of members of the National Assembly.
Laying bare the remunerations of the legislators, Professor Sagay revealed that inÂ 2009, a senator earned N240 million in salaries and allowance while his counterpartÂ in the House of Representatives earned N203,760,000. in other words, according toÂ the law Professor, a senator earned $1.7m and a member of the House ofÂ Representatives earned $1.45m per annum.
This is in contrast to an American senator who earns N174,000 and a UKÂ parliamentarian who earns about $64,000 per annum.
Taking the comparison further, Professor Sagay stated that a senator in NigeriaÂ earns $1,700,000 per annum while Preident Barrack Obama of the U.S earns $400,000Â per annum. The British Prime Minister according to him, earns 190,000 pounds perÂ annum.
It is high time Nigerians stood up to condemn theÂ feeding fat on their nationalÂ revenue without commensurate service to them. The Abuja legislators must be told inÂ unmistakable terms that they cannot continue to take aÂ large chunk of the nationâ€™sÂ revenue as their salaries and allowances. Their remunerations should be pegged toÂ reflect the reality of the Nigerian time. Enough of outrageous salaries andÂ allowances.