Sat. Sep 26th, 2020

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Nigerian Lawmakers’ Alarming Jumbo Pay By Yahaya Balogun

3 min read

As of 2019, the base salary for all rank-and-file members of the U.S. House and Senate was $174,000 per year, plus benefits. That’s $14,500 per month. The US Congress counterparts in Nigeria earn egregious and a whopping sum of $474,000 per year. That’s $39,500 per month, plus other benefits and pervading “egunje” in the discharge of their duties!

This is a trying period for Nigerians at home and abroad. It is disingenuous for whoever approves this jumbo pay for our lawmakers in Nigeria. In Nigeria, while some citizens are living a life of spectacular opulence; some are living in poverty with no help from the government or their leaders.

No wonder so many contemporary Nigerians are giving up on Nigeria’s intractable problems. The more a witch-doctor tries to renounce her witchcraft; the more she procreates her baby girls for expected initiations!

Ironically, salaries of US Congress have not been increased since 2009. If you compare US Congress salaries to private-sector wages, the salaries of members of Congress are lower than many mid-level executives in the United States.

Nigerian Senators have increased their salaries more than 300 per cent since 2009. The most annoying thing is the medieval infrastructures in their various jurisdictions or states are in sorry-state or state of disrepair. Are Nigerian citizens jinxed?

America is one of the wealthiest nations on the face of the earth. The wealth of America and taxes of the American taxpayers are continually being used to make life so easy and enjoyable by all American citizens.

Nigeria’s problem is a crisis of a wealthy nation. The wealth of Nigeria and taxes of Nigerian taxpayers are continually being used to make life easy and enjoyable by the families and friends of Nigerian law (“makers”).

Meanwhile, the irony of this national malaise sadly is that these Nigerian Senators and government officials who frequently travel to America (God’s Own Country-GOC) see the unprecedented level of development in America suburbs and other metropolitan areas in the country.

Nigerian Senators have chosen not to care and replicate this service in their homeland. It’s not uncommon now to see Nigerian youth jostling for political appointments. The youths believe a political position or appointment is a means to be rich and a self-profiteering venture!

The ‘new normal’ now in Nigeria is jostling of youths for presidential appointments. Part of the disturbing story is when they are not given their musing post, they morph into expectant enemies of the President. Our youths are (“so very much”) conceited!

The ball is in President Muhammadu Buhari’s court to use his position: send a bill to the national assembly to correct this unmatched, unfair and egregious remuneration. Buhari should speak out and do something about this jumbo pay to our Abuja men!

It is high time the government disincentivized elective positions in the country in order to “recruit” people with genuine intentions to serving the citizens. These Nigerian Legislators are using their positions for self-profiteering and aggrandizement at the expense of the masses they represent.

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Nigeria is in the midnight of her journey to getting things right under Buhari’s administration. The plebeians are looking forward to Buhari’s palliative moves to remedying our mundane problems in Nigeria. The jombo pay of our legislators is outrageously embarrassing!

Buhari’s administration is in the graveyard of Nigeria’s journey to the dawn of an era. Whatever his government does to remedy the anomaly now will determine the success or failure of his administration. We should be mindful of time, space and posterity; these three nuances among others are working together to determine current Nigeria’s place in history.

Time is running out, Mr President!

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