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National Assembly Budget: Physician, Heal Thyself! By Na-Allah Moh’d Zagga

National Assembly

If theFederal Government’s budget is unrealistic as alleged by Senator Melaye and others, so also are the outrageous salaries and allowances that our lawmakers have been paying themselves.

You can’t be complaining about falling revenues without addressing how your own rapacity is putting a strain on the economy. Democracy is not necessarily expensive. The greed and selfishness of our leaders makes it so.

I can’t understand how fewer than 500 lawmakers can allocate N139 billion to themselves from the budget in a country of almost 200 million people, majority of them living in abject poverty. You can’t be “serving” the people while resisting public scrutiny of your pay and refusing to make sacrifices.

While APC and PDP Senators and Reps are divided by partisanship, they have always been united by their common greed. I don’t recall any APC lawmaker calling for a significant and realistic reductions in their currently unsustainable and outrageous pay cheques.

I refuse to be fooled by elected officials who grumble with the masses in order to pretend they care, but who are reluctant to make the necessary sacrifices for the economy to prosper.

How can a Nigerian Senator receive higher pay than the US President? Let’s be upfront about it. Paying N13.5 million monthly to each of our 109 Senators as running cost, in addition to other hefty financial benefits, is unrealistic and extortionate. You can’t be a burden on the economy and then lecture us about the poor state of the economy. Does that mean they have the highest productivity rate in the country?

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