AS the alleged jumbo salary for members of the National Assembly continues to generate controversy, Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, Tuesday stormed the National Assembly protesting and demanding for 60 per cent cut in salaries and allowances of the federal lawmakers and political appointees in Nigeria.
The protesting CSO members from Conscience Nigeria, numbering about sixty, 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 upon by federal lawmakers.
The Executive Director, Conscience Nigeria, Comrade Tosin Adeyanju rhetorically asked, “Why will 469 members share N120 billion in a year? If we don’t act, Nigeria will collapse like Greece.
“The time has come for National Assembly members to declare their pay. The secrecy must stop.”
The CSO in a comparative analysis on salaries and allowances of lawmakers in five developed countries said that Nigerian federal lawmakers were highest earners.
According to the breakdown of their analysis, “United States of America lawmakers earn ($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 is 116 times the country’s GDP per person. That of the British member of parliament is just 2.7 times.
“The average salary Nigerian workers based on the national minimum wage of N18,000 x 12 months = N216,000 per year. Remember yearly salaries of 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.”