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Legislator’s Salaries Too Small For Job Responsibilities -Deputy Speaker

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, on Monday stated that the present salaries of federal lawmakers cannot take them home to do the jobs they were elected to do.

Kalu stated this when he appeared on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today On Monday lamenting that the take home pay of the average lawmaker is a ‘far cry’ from what people believe and he tasked Nigerians to understand that slashing  the salary of the lawmakers  by 50 per cent is not the solution to the present problem of the country.

Kalu said: “At the moment, talking about the salary of the National Assembly. I have said this over and again, it is not as much as people think. Salary is different from allowance, which is meant to do the jobs our constituents have sent us to do.

“Nobody is allowed to touch allowances. It is the salary that belongs to you. Allowances have no subheadings for which they are made for. If you use it wrongly, when you are retiring it, you will be sanctioned for that.

“So talking about the salaries of the National Assembly, it is a far cry from what it is supposed to be. And I can assure you that even if we reduce it by 50 percent or 80 per cent, it will not really impact what the Nigerian lawmakers should be earning, which does not go in tandem with the economic situation of the country.

“I can assure you that based on economic indices at the moment, inflation rate and the rest of them, the amount members of the National Assembly receive cannot actually take them home to do their jobs in their various constituencies.

“Considering the cost of transport, running constituency offices and the number of maintaining aides who are supposed to have you achieve what the mandate of that office demands, it is not a discussion that will add value to the crisis we are faced with.

“But I can assure you they will be willing to adjust. If that is what will move Nigeria to the next level, why not? After all, we did not send ourselves there. We were voted in by the constituents.”

The Abia State politician also heaped praises on President Bola Tinubu for having the boldness to cal for the full implementation of the 2012 recommendations of the Steve Oronsaye panel.

“Like you rightly pointed out, you mentioned cutting the cost of governance. This shows that when you look at the President’s body language and determination, he is intentional about reducing the cost of running the government. If he’s not, he will not be looking for that document.

“I want to thank him for (that) because of some of the issues mentioned in that report, we are going to use them as source materials for the work we are doing on Constitution review. And we’re happy that Mr President is forward thinking for him to embrace that report. He means well for Nigeria, especially during this period when we are facing a lot of challenges. In reducing the cost of running a government, the need for it cannot be overemphasized,” the lawmaker added.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=94127

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