Lawmakers’ Salaries Not Commensurate with Job Responsibilities – Deputy Speaker

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, asserted on Monday that the current salaries of federal lawmakers are insufficient to adequately perform their duties.

Kalu emphasized that the take-home pay of an average lawmaker falls short of what many people assume. He urged for understanding, emphasizing that slashing lawmakers’ salaries by 50% wouldn’t solve the underlying issue.

During an appearance on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ program, the deputy speaker remarked, “When we talk about the salary of the National Assembly, it’s important to differentiate between salary and allowances. Allowances are meant to facilitate the responsibilities assigned to us by our constituents.”

He clarified, “Allowances are not to be tampered with; they serve specific purposes. If misused, there are consequences upon retirement. So, discussing the salaries of National Assembly members, it’s far below what’s expected. Even if we were to reduce it significantly, it wouldn’t align with the economic realities of the country.”

Kalu highlighted the various expenses incurred by lawmakers, including transportation costs, maintaining constituency offices, and employing aides to fulfill their mandates. He suggested that adjusting salaries could be considered if it contributes to moving Nigeria forward.

Praising President Bola Tinubu’s directive to implement the 2012 recommendations of the Steve Oronsaye panel, Kalu commended the move as a step towards reducing the cost of governance. Tinubu’s directive involves constituting a committee to oversee mergers, scrapping, and relocations of federal government-owned parastatals, commissions, and agencies within 12 weeks.

Kalu stated, “The President’s commitment to cutting the cost of governance is evident in his actions. We appreciate his embrace of that report, which aligns with our efforts in the Constitution review. His forward-thinking approach is commendable, especially during these challenging times.”

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