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Will Buhari-Osinbajo presidency fix salary rot, extravagance in government?

President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari has been saying all the right things since he won the elections and in the flow of his anti-corruption campaign, re-fixing the outrageous salaries of politicians in government should be a good start.

If you don’t understand why those who are in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja don’t want to return and those who fought hard to go there did so at all cost in the last elections, here is the reason below.

SALARIES OF NIGERIAN SENATORS
* Basic Salary (B.S) – N2,484,245.50
* Hardship Allowance (50% of B.S) – N1,242,122.70
* Constituency Allowance (200% of B.S) – N4,968,509
* Newspapers Allowance (50% of B.S) – N1,242,122.70
* Wardrobe Allowance (25% of B.S) – N621,061.37
* Recess Allowance (10% of B.S) – N248,424.55
* Accommodation (200% of B.S) – N4,968,509
* Utilities (30% of B.S) – N828,081.83
* Domestic Staff (70% of B.S) – N1,863,184.12
* Entertainment (30% of B.S) – N828,081.83
* Personal Assistants (25% of B.S) – N621,061.12
* Vehicle Maintenance Allowance (75% of B.S) – N1,863,184.12
* Leave Allowance (10% of B.S) – N248,424.55
* Severance Gratuity (300% of B.S) – N7,452,736
* Car Allowance (400% of B.S) – N9,936,982
* TOTAL MONTHLY SALARY = N29,479,749 ($181,974)
* TOTAL YEARLY SALARY = N29,479,749 x 12 = N353,756,988 ($2,183,685)
* EXCHANGE RATE: $1 = N162.

LEGISLATORS PAY WORLDWIDE PER ANNUM
* Britain – $105,400
* United States – $174,000
* France – $85,900
* South Africa – $104,000
* Kenya – $74,500
* Saudi Arabia – $64,000
* Brazil – $157,600
* Ghana – $46,500
* Indonesia – $65,800
* Thailand – $43,800
* India – $11,200
* Italy – $182,000
* Bangladesh – $4,000
* Israel – $114,800
* Hong Kong – $130,700
* Japan – $149,700
* Singapore – $154,000
* Canada – $154 000
* New Zealand – $112,500
* Germany – $119,500
* Ireland – $120,400
* Pakistan – $3,500
* Malaysia – $25,300

Nigeria has 109 Senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives. Many have argued that in terms of payment by result, Nigerian lawmakers do not deserve such high remuneration and allowances. In America, a Senator earns 174,000 US dollars and in the UK, 105,400 US dollars a year.

Former Central Bank Governor and now Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had raised an alarm over the outrageous salaries and allowances of lawmakers and the huge recurrent costs of governance in Nigeria.

Obviously, Nigerian federal legislators receive much higher salaries than their counterparts in wealthier countries and key developing nations. The Economist magazine did a report on this a couple of years back, stating:

“A Nigerian legislator receives an annual salary of about $189,000, equivalent of N30 million, which is 116 times the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) per person.”

The Buhari-Osinbajo ought to prune these figures down to what Nigeria’s struggling economy can afford; perhaps down to a third for starters.

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