Nsukka (Enugu State) – The Chairman of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities has kicked against the jumbo emoluments reportedly collected by members of the National Assembly.
Speaking in an interview at Nsukka in Enugu State on Thursday, Dr Ifeanyichukwu Abada, said that the huge pay was unacceptable.
Abada, who is also a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science in the university, said it was ridiculous for each lawmaker to earn a monthly wage of N13.5 million.
He wondered why the lawmakers would be earning so much while others workers, making so much contribution to nation growth would be earning so little as salaries every month.
Abada said that it was annoying that lawmakers would earn so much in a country with so much poverty, where majority of the people live from hand to mouth.
He called for immediate reduction of the jumbo pay to the lawmakers and other political appointees to engender equity and fairness in the country.
“ A wage of N13.5m monthly per senator is too much. This amount can be used to pay salaries of over 150 civil servants in a month.
“It is unbelievable that in a country where civil servants are paid N18,000 as minimum wage and where some states are owning workers arrears of salaries, lawmakers can smile home with huge allowances and bogus salaries.”
He, however, commended one of the National Assembly members, Sen. Shehu Sani, for disclosing the monthly emoluments of the lawmakers to the public.
The unionist wondered what would be left of the national budget when lawmakers and other public office holders collected so much in emoluments.
“Senators should not use their exalted positions to serve themselves. They should remember those who elected them to that office.
“From this revelation, one may not be wrong to say that Nigerian senators are the highest paid in the world.
“It will be good for members of the executive arm of government to also summon courage and tell Nigerians their monthly salaries and allowances.
“ It will equally be good for ministers and other top-ranking cabinet members to tell us their allowances and salaries each month.”
Abada said that the unicameral legislative system was the best option for Nigeria, noting that the bicameral system was too expensive to run.
“The current bicameral system in the country where you have House of Representatives and the senate is too expensive to run.
“It will be better for the country to operate the unicameral system. This will reduce cost as well as hasten passage of bills and budgets.’’ (NAN)