By Patrick Dele Cole
The first part of this piece which was published last week frowned at the abuse of power and privileges by those in positions of authority. It concludes today by raising issues over gratuity, pensions and other entitlements being received by governors, state commissioners and legislators in the country.
THE money has already been voted and I suspect on some unstated understanding which Mr. Keyamo was unable to substantiate. How can, in the face of it, anybody quarrel because 774,000 labourers are to be employed?
There are over one million university unemployed graduates. They need employment. Mr. Buhari has promised to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. How? When? There are two countries in the world that have achieved this and more – China and Brazil under Ignatius Luha. So it’s been done before; what are we waiting for?
I have seen the outlines of the plan but even with the best will in the world; and given the toxicity of politics today – is the plan not dead in the water? You cannot throw money at a piece of land and expect a house or a road or hospital.
You plan, evaluate, organise, measure and then work with assessments as to how progress is following plan and plan is following concept. Most importantly, you carry the people all the way: they see that you are with them and for them, and that you would not use them for photo opportunity. Even if you do, let the project be off and running. There is no better propagandist than a contended benefactor from poverty alienation.
Our governors, state commissioners, legislators receive gratuity and pensions. This information should be available to the public. A governor with pension, when appointed minister or become a senator, is such a person entitled to another pension? Should we not legislate this revolving door principle? Are the figures below true? What are the correct figures?
Breakdown of what a Nigerian senator earns:
Newspaper Allowance – N1.24m
Wardrobe allowance – N0.62m
Recess allowance – N0.25m
Accommodation – N4.97m
Utilities – N0.83m
Domestic staff – N1.86m
Entertainment – N0.83m
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Personal assistant – N0.62m
Vehicle mtce allowance – N1.86m
Leave allowance – N0.25m
Total running cost – N13.58m/month. This adds up to N162.96m annually
He goes home with N750,000 monthly. This sum up to N9m annually. He claims he is entitled to N200m annually to execute projects which are the duty of the Executive.
Salary – N9,000,000 per annum
Running allowance: N163,000,000 per annum
Constituency projects : N200,000,000 per annum
Total: N372,000,000 per annum. This amount is over N1,000,000 every day, including Sundays when he is in church/mosque.
He also gets these:
Severance gratuity – N7.43m
Furniture allowance – N7.45m
Motor vehicle allowance – N9.94m
Total: N24 million plus
Nigerian House of Representatives Salary: The basic salary of a House of Representative member receives include: Personal assistant, constituency, vehicle fueling/maintenance, domestic staff, entertainment, recess, newspaper/periodicals, utilities, houses maintenance, vehicle loan, furniture, wardrobe, duty tour, accommodation, etc.
Speaker, House of Representatives: The head of Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber, the speaker, receives N4,954,220:00 (N4.95m) annually and N412,851:66 monthly, excluding allowances.
Members of the House of Representatives: Members of the lower legislative chamber, according to RMAFC, receive N9,529,038:06 (N9.5m) as annual pay and N704,086:83 every month as allowances
Nigeria’s healthcare budgdet is N46 billion for 200 million people: Nigeria’s Education budget is N48 billion for 200 million people, Nigeria’s legislators budget is N125 billion for 465 people.
The conduct of the senators and members of the National Assembly must be exemplary and beyond reproach. You cannot don a garb of righteousness and pursue the executive for corruption and other misdeeds while you are bathed in sinful excrement. You must come to equity with clean hands. That is the reason why there are Ethics Committees in our legislatures: to police themselves to reach the highest standards and calibre.
A senator cannot assault a woman in public without consequences. The senator cannot escape on the plea of so-called insufficient prosecution diligence. If the Police is complicit and cannot do its job, how about the Senate Ethics Committee?
How about the Senate President? Does he know that any disgraceful act of a member taints other members? It is entirely possible that the young lady has been appeased, but the public has not: the Senate hasn’t and remains culpable. Finally, our almighty Attorney General – why has he swallowed the disappearing pill of H.G. Wells?
Is the attorney general not charged with ensuring justice, protecting the weak? If the attorney general had raised his voice that no one was above the law, would the police be indigent in this prosecution? And the young people of Nigeria have you no shame?
One of yours is indecently assaulted in public by a pompous “don’t you know who I am” senator, and you are silent. The magistrate dismisses the case, you remain silent; you don’t know the social media number of the inspector general of police, other members of the power elite, their friends?
Why are you not bombarding them with your disgust justifiably because you are asking all senators, the attorney general, inspector general and chief justice to do their job?