The Outrageous Remunerations Of National Assembly Members

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Again, it has taken the governor of the country’s apex bank, Central Bank of  Nigeria, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to remind us of the anomaly and the  indefensible remunerations of our lawmakers.

Raising an alarm on the high cost of maintaining the federal legislators, Sanusi  disclosed what we all know and have condemned in the past that our legislators in  Abuja are consuming an outrageous 25 per cent of our national  expenditure.

The Central Bank boss who was delivering a lecture at the eighth convocation of the  Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State expressed fear that the economy would not  improve to meet the nation’s target of being one of the 20 largest economies in the  world if 25 per cent of the nation’s expenditure continued to be expended on the  recurrent expenditure of the National Assembly.

Sanusi also warned that the economy would continue to remain comatose if the trend  was not checked.

The CBN governor insisted that there must be cuts in recurrent expenditure so as not  to stall the growth and development of the nation’s economy.

We will not be surprised if by tomorrow the legislators started firing salvos at  Sanusi for what is obviously an advice from a financial expert. The Abuja  legislators are known for tearing into shreds anyone who dared to poke nose into  their finance.

Of course, Sanusi is not the first to criticise the foul and offensive remunerations  of members of the national assembly.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had cause to complain too, about the  remunerations and was disparaged by the legislators.

He was called all sorts of names for calling for a  reduction in the emoluments of  the legislators for national development.

Professor Itse Sagay, an erudite constitutional lawyer had earlier during a lecture  delivered to mark the 47th birthday of Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, Lagos State  Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos, denounced what he called the  obscene remunerations of members of the National Assembly.

Laying bare the remunerations of the legislators, Professor Sagay revealed that in  2009, a senator earned N240 million in salaries and allowance while his counterpart  in the House of Representatives earned N203,760,000. in other words, according to  the law Professor, a senator earned $1.7m and a member of the House of  Representatives earned $1.45m per annum.

This is in contrast to an American senator who earns N174,000 and a UK  parliamentarian who earns about $64,000 per annum.

Taking the comparison further, Professor Sagay stated that a senator in Nigeria  earns $1,700,000 per annum while Preident Barrack Obama of the U.S earns $400,000  per annum. The British Prime Minister according to him, earns 190,000 pounds per  annum.

It is high time Nigerians stood up to condemn the  feeding fat on their national  revenue without commensurate service to them. The Abuja legislators must be told in  unmistakable terms that they cannot continue to take a  large chunk of the nation’s  revenue as their salaries and allowances. Their remunerations should be pegged to  reflect the reality of the Nigerian time. Enough of outrageous salaries and  allowances.

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