But, the lawmakers kicked seriously against this decision, letting Nigerians know that they are not just sitting in the National Assembly to defend their constituencies, but to further enrich themselves by smiling to the bank on monthly basis. Financial research conducted by global agencies like the Amnesty International (AI) shows that Nigerian lawmakers earn far more than their counterparts in some foreign countries and even some presidents do not earn up to the Nigerian senate president and even the speaker, House of Representatives.
It is a surprise to many Nigerians that despite the huge amount of money which runs into billions of naira given yearly to the senators and rep members as constituency allowances, they also get mouth-watering monies as wardrobes, communication, security, travelling and other protocol allowances. All these monies put together are enough even for an oil tycoon to grow green with envy.
President Muhammadu Buhari promised to cut the cost of governance in Nigeria when he emerged as the numero uno person in the country and he commenced this action almost immediately his government kicked off. The recent re-organisation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) shows that the president is serious about his promise. Nigerians are, however, awaiting his further action on several parastatals which are lackadaisical in the view of the people who hope that PMB should endeavour to merge these agencies. The reason for this is because majority of these agencies play almost same roles and there is no need for them to be receiving allocation from the federal government separately. Examples of such agencies are the ICPC and the EFCC. Same goes for the DSS and the SSS. Many people wonder why these bodies should still be in existence knowing fully well that their functions are very similar, hence their areas of jurisdiction could be played by one single agency as a way of reducing the cost of running both of them.
Of course, being a politician in Nigeria is an advantage and an avenue to become a billionaire within a twinkle of an eye, but being a lawmaker in the country is an added advantage. It is on record that Nigerian lawmakers would do anything to sit in their chambers even when there is nothing to be done by majority of them. All what they are after is the allowance for sitting on that particular day. It could be recalled that months back, some of them resorted to jumping the fence like secondary school thugs to ensure that they gained access into the premises of the national assembly when they were barred by security agencies. This action really shows how far a typical Nigerian lawmaker can greedily go in getting his or her bonuses fully paid.
A fortnight ago, President Muhammadu Buhari announced the reduction in his salary and that of his deputy. The country was divided on this issue, however, because some Nigerians believe that the country’s leaders do not rely on monthly salaries for survival; rather they rely more on the several allocations and financial appropriations at their beck and call. In a twist of fate, the Presidency called on the National Assembly comprising of the upper and lower houses to also slash their monthly salaries in order to allow more money flow all over the country.