The revelations exposed when Senator Shehu Sanni open the can of worms on take home pay of Nigerian Senators is not just an indictment on the hollowed chamber of the upper parliament but on the entire political office holders. All elected public officers as well as their coteries of appointed political officials are not but parasitic fleece feeding fat on the carcass of the country’s ailing economy and economically strangulated majority of Nigerians who live below the poverty datum with less than a dollar per day.
It would be recalled that the Senator had recently exposed that a Senator of the Republic goes home with a N700,000:00 monthly salary and N13.5Million monthly allowances as well as over N200Million constituency project funding. As stupendously mind-boggling as these figures may seem, it was however not surprising as many people know that a vote to public offices in the country is a carte-blanc cheque for brazen looting of public treasury looting. The main issues in this revelation to an anti-corruption and open leadership are clear; in the first place, most Senators do not deserve to occupy their offices and definitely can never justify their remuneration; many of them don’t attend sessions yet collect accruing allowances, they never push a single bill in a year if not all through the gestation of the tenure of parliament; more-importantly, the business of the parliament as grave as it is under democratic dispensation can be performed on part-time basis and paid for by the hours of seating, thereby saving society the huge wastages that accompanies liberal democracy; no parliamentarian should receive wages that far outweighs the wages of an average workman in the country if they are not to consider themselves as supra-institutions above the society.
Having made our position clear on how to block the drain pipes that the Senate has become and to be more transparent and accountable for democratic good governance, we must necessarily contend that not just the Senate but the entire elected and appointed public officers in the country are receiving outlandish salaries and allowances. A colleague of Sanni and Senate Spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi buttressed our position when he dismissed with a wave of the hand that Sanni is making any extraordinary revelations as the emoluments of the lawmakers are generally captured in the budgetary allocations. He further asserted that, “almost all holders of elective and appointive offices have running costs allocated to their offices and that cannot be said to be part of their salaries”.
This is a clear indication that all public officers are milking the country dry and they have abducted the desire for socio-economic advancement and kept us in the dungeon of “arrested developments”.
CACOLS strongly condemns the outrageous wages of Senators and all other political from the Federal Government to State and Local Governments as well as their official hang-ons as extremely wicked, cruel, callous and insensitive at a period when the nation is facing serious economic crisis, low wages for formal and informal workers as well as total de-industrialisation of the National economy. All well-meaning Nigerians should come out to publicly demand the downward review of the take home packages of elected and politically appointed public officers.