August 1, 2023

Ministerial screening: Lawmakers’ salaries not enough – Akpabio

Godswill Akpabio

Senate President Godswill Akpabio said salaries of members of the National Assembly were not enough to take care of demands from their constituents.

Akpabio stated this on Monday, while contributing to the debate on a motion sponsored by Abdulraman Kawu Suleiman, member of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) representing Kano South, on the need to avert impending strike planned by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

He said with the volume of requests from various constituents represented in the National Assembly, lawmakers’ earnings were too inadequate to cater for those requests.

Akpabio conceded that though hardships associated with the removal of subsidy on petroleum products were enormous, there was need for the people to be more patient with government while steps were being taken to ameliorate sufferings of the people.

In defending his motion, Kawu said “the strike would cripple the country as movement would be severely curtailed as commercial transport operators would withdraw their services, while markets, schools and healthcare facilities would be forced to shut down.”

Kawu added said the action could heat up the polity when it occurred, and the gains from the strike would be far below the costs to either of the parties in conflict.

He said,“The strike threat by the NLC, if not averted, could plunge Nigeria into deeper economic woes, dislocate businesses, hunger, frustration, more hardship that would lead to unquantified financial losses and reduce Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“NLC strike is also a bad reputation for the Nigerian economy and the educational system because it portrays the country in a bad light to the external world and discourages foreigners from coming to do business or study in Nigeria,” Kawu said.

The Senate after the debate mandated its leadership to interface between the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Federal Government in order to avert strike.