Quote (Elombah Perspectives): â€œPresident Barack Obama’s salary is $400,000 per annum. A
Past surveys of salaries and benefits of public office holders from the Baltic to the Bahamas, the Americas and the Far East and everywhere else, has showed that Ministers and Federal Legislators in Nigeria are the highest paid in the world, despite the country being among the poorest in terms of per capita income, security, social provision and living standards. On the other hand, Nigerian workers are one of the lowest paid in the world.
The Nigerian Minister earns more than his American, British or German counterpart, and of course enjoys pecks of office those ones cannot even dare dream of – for doing next to NOTHING!!! This is a wasteful, reckless, licentious and decadent system of governance.
Due to space, I will not highlight the data and facts associated with the earnings of both our leaders and lawmakers, but suffice it to say that this democracy that we practice in
A large chunk of the annual budget ends up as salaries and allowances in the pocket of this small percentage of Nigerians. For example, out of the 2009 annual budget of N3.1 trillion, N1.3 trillion or 42% ended up as remuneration for 17,500 individuals in a country of 150 million people. If this is the case, what is left for social and economic development? What is left for constructing roads, improving education and healthcare, providing water and electricity, regards to the health of the economy and welfare of the people, etc?
And donâ€™t omit various other incomes accruing to these shameless, jobless individuals, law breakers, the 419s, paedophiles, murderers and election riggers. If we add constituency projects (in the
According to reports, â€œeach Senator will pocket 720 million Naira in four years, while each House of Representative member will get 540 million Naira. These sums do not include the approved pay by RMAFC which they also collect. Apart from being illegal, it is obscene, in a country where a huge chunk of the population lives on less than 1 US dollar per day. Senate President David Mark gets 250 million Naira per quarter; Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu 150 million Naira; and each of the eight remaining principal officers 78 million Naira. It is no wonder that Nigerians are yet to see the dividends of democracy, over 10 years later! Ours must be the most expensive democracy on earth, and if nothing is done quickly to stem this looting tide, it may come to a time that there will be no money to run the government beyond paying the bloated salaries and allowances of our public office holders,” rightly said the Action Congress party.
Okey Ndibe called it â€œA Feeding Frenzyâ€. NEXT’s Musikilu Mojeed and Elor Nkereuwem christened it â€œAn Assembly for Lootingâ€ saying â€œConsidering that Nigeria’s minimum wage stands at â‚¦5, 500 a month, each senator’s quarterly allowance “will pay for 2,909 workers earning the minimum wage.” The reporters offered other tantalizing projections. If Nigerians were to fire the entire membership of the National Assembly, the savings would be more than enough to “fund the N88.5billion” Mr. Umaru Yar’Adua budgeted this year for building power plants. Alternatively, we could “fund hospitals and clinics” all over
According to Wikipedia, in ecology, a feeding frenzy is a situation where oversaturation of a supply of food leads to rapid feeding by predatory animals. For example, a large school of fish can cause nearby sharks to enter a feeding frenzy. This can cause the sharks to go wild, biting anything that moves, including each other or anything else within biting range. This term is most often used when referring to sharks or piranhas, due to these being some of the most feared predators. Feeding frenzy is also a metaphor often used in a non-biological sense to describe excited involvement by a group over some focal point of attention. I will take the example of our politicians, especially the so-called lawmakers or legislators (read â€“ â€œlegislootersâ€). Their feeding frenzy is a result of their excited involvement over the unregulated wealth and resources of
The fact is Nigerian politicians have turned themselves into instant millionaires just for being members of the National Assembly, paying themselves huge, obscene and unjustified salaries and allowances not commensurate with their very low productivity and without doing anything worthwhile for the country, for you and me, or for humanity. They are â€œLegis-lootersâ€, â€œDis-Honourablesâ€ and â€œExecu-thievesâ€.
Sooner than later Nigerians should march to the National Assembly Complex for a show down with them. I will gladly lead it.
The members of this NASS are of the same ilk…greedy looters of our treasury who are insensitive to the economic situation of the country, and the plight of the general masses.
What visible difference has their representations made in the lives of the represented Nigerians to give them the false idea that they deserve their present salary talk less of a pay rise? Please, someone tell me: how many bills have these odious, greedy and lazy thieves passed into law since 1999? Do we actually know what they are doing except some of them using big vocabularies? What are we getting in return for their large obnoxious salaries and expenses? Why are Nigerians funding their expensive lifestyles, and getting zero in return?
And to top it all, look at their shameless behaviour in the House while trying to remove their Speaker, who is also accused of gross corruption. These are common thugs, mediocre and thieves, men and women, and even the reason for their behaviour was based on the loot. Are these lawmakers we should be proud of? Do we really need these types to make laws for us? No, and this is why
Reuben Abati in his write-up â€œNigerian Legislators!â€ wrote â€œI believe that they over-paid and underworked. It is members of the Lower House that are in the news this week, but the Senators are no different. N27.2 million per quarter, and now they want more! And what do they do? The only time Nigerian MPs suddenly become vocal and creative is when they are hustling for jumbo pay and allowances. This is the case not only in
â€œThe statistics can be easily worked out with the result that the amount of public funds that has been guzzled by Abuja MPs alone in the last three years, not to talk of since 1999, is enough to fix Nigeriaâ€™s comatose railway lines, the federal universities and a number of hospitals (assuming the money does not also get stolen by inefficient contractors!).
There is an unwritten consensus that politicians are only interested in looting the treasury. But
This has got to stop. One way it can stop is to reduce very drastically the remuneration of lawmakers and other political offices such that it will be unattractive to potential thieves and looters and that only people who sincerely want to serve will see such small remuneration as enough motivation to contest elections to these office and be committed to good governance and delivering desired results. Right now, we have only self-serving politicians â€“ executives or lawmakers. The obscene salaries and perks are what is attracting thieves to the serious business of governance and lawmaking, and this is why these thieves will always rig elections, commit murder and assassinations to position themselves where they will steal, shutting out genuine and sincere democrats who want to do well for the welfare of their people.
This phenomenon is replicated in the Statesâ€™ Houses of assembly down to the Local Government Council Chambers.
I will admit that this latter solution is a bit tough because many countries with unicameral legislatures are often small and homogeneous unitary states and consider an upper house or second chamber unnecessary. Nevertheless, we should not make either bicameral or unicameral legislature a full time activity for our politicians.
Those leaders in transient, political power, who had tried to usurp Godâ€™s authority on earth, have often faced occasional deprivation. Their regimes were either overthrown or their term of office would eventually end anyway. They become expired politicians, with wrinkles and gray hairs to show for it. Jetting from one political event to another, they pontificate on what should be done; now that they have become â€œwiser and humblerâ€ (Babangida is an example)
Nigerian politicians do not seem to know that they owe their people economic well-being and good life on earth. Unfortunately, many of our politicians actively and openly corruptly enrich themselves at the expense of the state and the people they are supposed to lead and rule. Through administrative fiats and legislative props, they racket the economy.
A new, strict regime against political, economic and cultural corruption must be put in place: otherwise the â€œsmall peopleâ€ will rise up and overthrow their fake and small kingdoms of evil.
In my article â€œIn A Lighter Mood: The Way We Seriously Feel About Our Leadersâ€ 29th August 2007 (http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/akintokunbo-a-adejumo/in-a-lighter-mood-the-way-we-seriously-feel-about-our-leaders.html), I wrote â€œTherefore, any new political reform should address this. Legislators must be paid expenses only for their service to the country. The current system is very profligate, expensive and attracts thieves and mediocre. Expenses must be for attendances, cost of keeping constituency offices open, and if they have to be give car, housing and transport allowances, these must be properly allocated, scrutinized, monitored and commensurate with the service provided by these people. Judging from recent revelations on the wastefulness and profligacy of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Senators, etc, the cost of running Nigeriaâ€™s democracy is too high, and especially given our penchant for lack of accountability and corruption, this has to be brought under rigid and strict control. Our unscrupulous political class should be discouraged and deterred from going into government to make money. Hence make it unattractive to them.
THIS WASTE AND ILLEGAL DRAINING OF OUR RESOURCES BY A FEW NEED TO STOP NOW.
Let the Truth be told always