Newly inaugurated lawmakers of the eighth National Assembly will be paid about N9 billion next week. This largesse will cover both the upper and lower chambers of the federal parliament as allowances, not salaries; that is, their accommodation, furniture and vehicle allowances.
Each senator therefore will get N16.5m next week and a Rep, N14.5m.
The N9 billion represents 850 per cent of their basic salaries for four years. This means that a senator earns about N2m basic salary per month while a Rep earns about N1.8m.
Here is the unfortunate psychology of this method of payment; when you collect in one day all you should spend four years working for, you practically “spend your future” and become aggressive in making money at all cost.
Hence the lawmakers’ incessant bribe and blackmail scandals. When will this change? Will sweet-talking Senator Ben Murray-Bruce from Bayelsa reject this jumbo package?
On Sunday May 3, 2015 at the Silverbird Man of the Year Awards in Lagos, Murray-Bruce gave a speech that HAMILTONSTYLE made a document for public records so that hungry and angry Nigerians can hold him accountable to, in case he joins the fray. Below are portions of his outpouring against corruption and overbearing opulence in governance.
“I tried to understand why Nigeria was not as developed as it ought to be. And what I saw was shocking and very alarming. Those of us in the private sector understand how we should run a company, and things we should do and the ones we shouldn’t do.
“In the federal budget, a couple of things shook me. For instance, one percent of the federal budget is spent on pilgrimages for both Muslims and Christians; three percent of the national budget is spent on the National Assembly for 469 people; 30 percent is spent on 1.2 million civil servants, (In all) 88 percent is spent on recurrent expenditure while only 12 percent is spent on capital expenditure.”
Next week, Murray-Bruce and other senators will be paid N16.5 million. Will he collect his? After all, Governor El Rufai set the pace by cutting his pay by half until the finances of his state improves?