Senators Express Mixed Reactions Over Pay Review

SOME senators have expressed mixed reactions over the review of remunerations of lawmakers in the country.

Speaking on the review, Senator Kabir Marafa, who represents Zamfara Central, on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, said the claim that legislators in the country were receiving high remunerations was untrue.

Marafa, while challenging Nigerians to go and verify from banks how much senators were earning, insisted that some Nigerians mistook constituency allowance, as part of the salaries which the lawmakers earned.

He said: Our monies are paid through banks, they don’t give us directly; so let the bankers come out and say how much a senator earns.
“When you get the correct figure, that is when you and I can sit down and talk but you cannot invent an amount and then tell me how much I should reduce from it.

“I think there is general ignorance as to how much a Nigerian senator earns. I would want Nigerians to know exactly how much we earn; then they can come up with criticisms on basis of facts,” he said. When asked how much a Senator earns he still referred the reporter to find out from the banks.

Senator Dino Melaye, APC, from Kogi State, had vowed to champion a campaign for salary cut for federal lawmakers when the new National Assembly resumes.

Melaye insisted that legislators must begin to sacrifice their comfort and allow a pay cut, saying that money realised from the exercise would be used for developmental projects and proper oversight roles.

Senator Ben Bruce, who represents Bayelsa-East Senatorial Zone, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said that he would support any reduction in the pay of members of the National Assembly, noting that he was elected into the Senate to render service and not to waste tax-payers’ money.

He said: “I subscribe 100 per cent to pay cut for National Assembly members; they can cut it to whatever they want, I am in support of it.”
But he warned against singling out lawmakers for the pay cut, saying it must be extended to all other government officials, who maintained exorbitant lifestyles with the taxpayers’ money.

He further said, “The problem we have now is that people seek public office to enrich themselves, that must stop.
“If you seek public office, you must care about the poor people who voted you into power; the people who voted me into office live under the tree, the rich ones went abroad.

“If we come into office and we live this exorbitant lifestyle, and we consume the resources of our country, then we have failed them and we have failed God.
“It cannot be business as usual; we are here for the real change, for the right change,” Bruce said.


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