Outside looking in

August 25, 2013

Nigerian lawmakers are the highest paid in the world

Nigerian lawmakers are the highest paid in the world

Senate President, David Mark and Speaker of House of Reps, Aminu Tanbuwal

By Denrele Animasaun

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.—Doug Larson

Nice job if you can get it. No wonder the Nigerian Lawmaker fights tooth and nail to stay on the gravy train. It is a known fact that Nigerian Lawmakers are the highest paid in world.

There are 109 Senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives so in terms of payment by result, the Nigerian lawmakers do not deserve such high pay and surely does not perform their duties to warrant such hyper inflated pay. In America, a Senator earns 174,000 US dollars and in the UK, a Member of parliament about 64,000 US dollars a year. So what do our lawmaker do for this generous amount can someone please tell me why they deserve this enormous amount of money. It is about time Nigerians demand better service and improvement for Nigeria and Nigerians.

No one deserves that much money while ordinary people are scavenging to make ends meet. Nigeria has got multitude of deprivation; high infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, malnutrition, inadequate health care and transportation and lack of electricity outage, high crime rates, high number of young people not in education, employment or in training. So why is some of these excesses going to improve the lives of Nigerians. So instead Nigerians lawmakers are paid for below par performance and disregard to the electorates that they are meant to represent. I feel that ordinary Nigerians have been severely short changed, cheated and insulted by these so called honourable people.

Senate President, David Mark and Speaker of House of Reps, Aminu Tanbuwal

Senate President, David Mark and Speaker of House of Reps, Aminu Tanbuwal

According to Professor Itse Sagay, he stated that the Nigerian lawmakers at the lower and upper chambers of the National Assembly are the highest paid legislators in the world. A senator in Nigeria earns 240 million naira (about 1.7 million US dollars) in salaries and allowances and a member of the House of Representatives earns 204 million naira (about 1.45million US dollars) per annum. It definitely rubs insult to injury for the average Civil servant who earns about 46 to 120 US dollars per month.

RMAFC disputes the allowances that the lawmakers earn as misleading and describes the allowances as befitting the political and public office holders; such as the Nigerian Senator Remuneration package comes to 1,505% of basic salary, and the other 225% for furniture .So like I said, Fine job if you can get.

Response to: A Time Will Come…?
Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. ~Ronald Reagan

I will say this. We are being judged as a nation. As Denrele Animasaun said, we like to show our allegiances to religion yet we have lost our humanity. The elite use the ethnic divisions for their own benefit yet we are too blind to see it. Only now are we beginning to wake up to this fact. It is funny that Obasanjo talks of his former Vice President and former governor of Bayelsa in this manner yet he picked Abubakar twice in return for campaign money and forced Goodluck Jonathan onto the late President Yar’Adua, a Goodluck Jonathan who later pardoned and forgave his former boss Alamieyeseigha.

Those who are identify themselves as Ijaw who will still support Jonathan have themselves to blame if by 2019 their quality of life has not improved. They will blame the Northern elites of course or someone else other than themselves. This tribal politics has retarded our nation and many people know this. I have talked with them. However, many seem to be either on two track minds, shortsighted, or cowardly that they will return to tribal politics the next day. I will say this again, we are being judged by God now. He will not save those who do not attempt to save themselves.
– Chukwuka Okoroafor

Dear Denrele,
Your above captioned article refers. It’s acceptable that the Columnist’s job is to point out the flaws, in order to elicit appropriate response. But our peculiar situation demands that it is even more helpful for possible solutions to be proffered, especially by those of you in the diaspora, who see how things are made to work. So next time you ask these many questions, please try give at least one good answer. “A time will come” when someone might use it to better our country. Have a fine day. Regards, -Alh Musah Ali
My response:
Dear Ali,
Thank you for your email. A time will come… was very self indulgent and it was my way of exorcising the pain and frustration within me! In a country of so many talented and intelligent people you would think the solution will and can come from within. Outside looking in as diasporas, the solutions are oblivious; honesty, transparency, compassion and selflessness. All these characteristics are the bedrock of any civil society, you would expect that majority of people already have it. We as Nigerians truthfully lack most of these qualities so, about time we developed a conscience and work collectively towards building a better future. So my piece was to prick our collective conscience and judging by the number of mails I have received, it got people to think collectively that the answer lies within all of us.
Regards, Denrele Animasaun
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. – Aesop
Whatever next? Ebenega Okorodudu, has requested that state and federal governments immortalise late Pius Akpor Ewherido. And he also would like the speedy release of former Governor of the State, Chief James Ibori, from London prison.

Where do you begin with such people, even the pope cannot beatify any one unless there has been evidence of sustained good deeds and miracles. So unless the state and the federal government have become the Vatican then I am afraid that there is a case of delusion of grandeur going on. Certainly the sudden death of Ewherido in some quarters must have evoked so much emotions but I think common sense should prevail and accept that death is a leveller. As for Ibori? The good doctor is requesting that Ibori should be pardoned; he argued that the former governor was instrumental in the improvement of his state. Dr Okorodudu seem to have no integrity or morals when he talks warmly of Ibori’s crime as the man has no shame and he has lost touch with reality and with the ordinary Deltans and Nigerians in general.

There is a big omission here; that Ibori is a convicted common criminal pure and simple. Nigerians should know right from wrong as the present crop of politicians are self serving and desperately want to hold on the last vestiges of power while ordinary Nigerian starve and pillage for need to know what is wrong form right and we cannot paint people as dignified and full of integrity when they have been caught, convicted of criminality because he has great that he improved a small part of his state, while he was siphoning the state coffers? He is where he belongs for the crime he had committed and it is evident that Nigeria would have done nothing but parade him as an honest for governor. The message to the younger generation is clear; you are honest provided that you are in government.

In his own reasoning, Dr. Okorodudu said that the Federal and States governments to fast -track a means of releasing the former governor from the British custody where he is currently serving a jail term for offences bordering on money laundering, said the ex-governor is only a human being who can err, but if after owning up and apologizing to his people and the nation, he should have been given a very minimum sentence. Am not sure what stealing vegetable by a hungry person is nowadays but, I am sure it is not a minimal sentence. Yet a thief can steal billions and we create and perpetuate a corrupt society and we shrug our shoulders and we reasoned that there is not much we can do about it as everyone is doing it! Here lies the problem, we look to others to change their ways while we continue being dishonest and incorrigible. So for an errant politician they demand a softly, softly approach. Nigeria has a problem and our lawmakers are a representational of our people and there
lies our problem.