By Harris-Okon Emmanuel
UYO—Disturbed by the jumbo pay to lawmakers at the National Assembly, a university don, Prof. Gabriel Umoh, has called on the civil society organizations and other concerned Nigerians to embark on a mass protest against the huge cash portfolio of the lawmakers.
Umoh, a professor of Agricultural and Development Economics at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, described the mega salaries and other emoluments for the lawmakers as “outrageous”, given the huge gap between civil servants and the politicians.
The World Bank consultant, who doubles as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the African Human Development Centre, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to review downward the salaries, allowances and other emoluments of the lawmakers.
He said:“all these appurtenances of office make political office very attractive for aspirants to always exhibit elements of desperation to occupy such offices, even with the blood of human beings.
“Such misguided allocations of cash to political officers have created a lot of economic problems in the system including inflation.
“It is very embarrassing that in a country where productive institutions, ministries, departments and agencies are not well funded, a few individuals are allocating themselves that huge cash. Such Jumbo salary pay is more than eleven times that of a Professor.
“What do they do at the National Assembly so that the Federal Government is wasting such money to fund a less productive institution like the National Assembly?’’.
Umoh, who advocated for a past time arrangement “for those who are interested in making laws for the country”, urged that “every Nigerian should show concern, so that the lawmakers should also be ashamed and avoid corruption”.
He therefore charged President Buhari to beam his searchlight on the National Assembly for the endemic corruption, “if the ongoing anti corruption war should be seen as having specific targets”.
“I want to call on President Buhari to correct this political mistake because it is rubbing off negatively on the Nigerian economy”, he stressed, and advised that such monies should be channeled into creating jobs, build infrastructure and strengthen institutions”, he added.