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Protesters Storm N' Assembly, Demands 60% Pay Cut in Lawmakers Salary

“Why will 469 members share N120bn in a year? If we don’t act, Nigeria will collapse like Greece". 

These were the words as dozens of protesters, yesterday, stormed the National Assembly complex, demanding a 60 percent cut in the salaries and allowances for lawmakers and all political appointees in the country.

Gathered under the auspices of Conscience Nigeria, a civil society group, the protesters also demanded that legislative business should be on a part-time basis in view of the high cost of maintaining the National Assembly and frequent recess embarked on by lawmakers.

The time has come for National Assembly members to declare their pay. The secrecy must stop, Executive Director, Conscience Nigeria, Comrade Tosin Adeyanju told journalists at the entrance of the National Assembly.

In a comparative analysis conducted by the group on salaries and allowances of lawmakers in five developed countries, Nigerian federal lawmakers ranked highest earners, he said.

The breakdown showed the United States of America ($174,000); United Kingdom ($105,000); France ($85,000); Germany ($119,500); Canada ($154,000) and Nigeria ($181,974).

“In terms of lawmakers’ salary as ratio GDP per capital, the gap is even wider while salaries of Nigerian lawmakers are 116 times the country’s GDP per person. That of the British Member of Parliament is just 2.7 times.

“The average salary of Nigerian workers based on the national minimum wage of N18,000 x 12 months is N216,000 per year. Remember the yearly salary of a Nigerian senator is $2,183,685. Therefore, it will take an average Nigerian worker 1,638 years to earn the yearly salary of a senator,” the group stated.

On the other hand, President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to recover all stolen funds under Jonathan's watch.

See what he said:
"The recent past government abandoned all financial and administrative instructions put in place in parastatals and agencies, thereby throwing the country into financial crisis"

He regretted that the impunity, lack of accountability and financial recklessness in the management of national resources which were the order of the day under the past administration have thrown the country into a situation that is worse than what happened in the Second Republic.

He promised that the days of impunity in the management of national resources are over in the country with his inauguration.

He vowed that funds stolen by government officials who abused their offices in the recent past will be recovered and systemic leakages stopped.
President Muhammadu Buhari,and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (middle) and other party leaders, pose for snapshot after a meeting with APC governors.

This statement was made in a meeting he had with State Governors who came to seek for bailout to enable them pay their workers salary. The governors had requested that instead of bailouts, the Federal Government should refund money spent by each state on Federal projects in their respective states. They also said that the tax paid by the Nigeria Natural Liquefied Gas Company be paid into the Federation Account and be shared.

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