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Friday, 16 August 2013

It’s True, Our Salaries Are Very Outrageous –A Serving Senator Finally Confesses


Nigerian Senate 1 Its True, Our Salaries Are Very Outrageous –A Serving Senator Finally Confesses
It baffles  that many Nigerians are getting themselves involved in criminal activities due to the poor salaries they collect monthly, and when such people are caught, they are punished. But what the government is paying these people cannot feed them and their family comfortably.
“Honestly, l think it’s unfair. I’m also guilty of it because l benefited from it as a senator. It’s unfair for us elite to arrogate so much of the country’s resources to ourselves and still expect economic development.”
Anyway, following the high secrecy surrounding the millions of Naira being paid to political office holders in Nigeria as against what the masses earn, a serving senator has finally opened up.
A serving senator has affirmed insinuations that their earnings are indeed outrageous. The senator, who made this disclosure to THISDAY in Abuja, said he is of the belief that his salary and those of his colleagues, is not justifiable.
The senator, who noted that the perceived outrageous salaries by senators were unnecessary plundering of the nation’s resources, confessed that for him to reject the jumbo pay would be viewed as madness having found himself within the system.
Furthermore, the senator (name withheld) said the jumbo pay is part of the reason the National Assembly’s intervention in the ongoing strike by ASUU did not yield any fruitful result.
According to him, members of the National Assembly Education Joint Committee lacked the effrontery to confront members of ASUU during recent meetings with them because of the consciousness of their seeming unmerited wages.
He said: “I believe what we earn is not justifiable. That is why ASUU is making unnecessary demands. I wonder why the federal government should reach an agreement with them on such demands. These are demands that are not made by lecturers anywhere in the world. If they are asking for well equipped libraries, laboratories or more conducive learning environment, it would have been understandable. But everything is about themselves.
“How can they be asking for extra pay because they have large classes? Is it not their responsibilities to teach whether a class is large or not? And in any case, who admitted the large class? But they are making these demands just because they know what we earn,” he added.
Also affirming this position, Senator Sola Akinyede, in a recent interview with THISDAY, said the executive should not only be blamed for high cost of governance, noting that the legislature also contributed largely to the problem. He added that the judiciary also has its own share of the blame.
Akinyede, who represented Ekiti South senatorial district in the Senate between 2007 and 2011, said he felt guilty having benefited from such unjustifiable pay as a senator.
“High cost of governance does not only affect the executive, it also affects the legislature and the judiciary. I think what we should do is that heads of the three organs of government at every level along with leaderships of political parties should sit down and agree on how to reduce the cost of governance,” he said.
Nigerian senators’ salaries have been a subject of controversy for years.
N2,484,245.50 as basic salary, a senator cruises home with N11 million as regular salaries month.
N27 million as quarterly allowances besides irregular allowances such as estacodes and duty allowances.
It was also alleged that the entire Senate leadership comprising 10 principal officers draw N1,024,000,000 as quarterly allowance.
Nigeria’s President and Senate President earn far higher than United States president, whose total salary per annum is $400,000.

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