Sanusi’s Revelation On NASS’ Jumbo Pay

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In a country where over 16 million Nigerian youths are unemployed and 90 per cent of citizens are living on less than one dollar per day, nothing, perhaps, encapsulates the feelings of most well-meaning Nigerians than the position of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Sanusi, in a recent letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, canvassed a slash by half of the jumbo pay of federal lawmakers, Ministers and other political appointees.
Sanusi, a renowned economist and the Emir of Kano said the ‘change mantra’ of the Buhari-led administration must start with the downward review of the parliamentarians’ remunerations to provide jobs for the teeming unemployed Nigerian youths.
The immediate past CBN Governor declared: “Where is the change? Change should start with NASS members. A senator receives N36 million monthly and if divided by half, N18 million can be used to create jobs for 200 Nigerians, each earning N90,000 monthly. When you multiply this by 109 Senators, it will give 21,800 Nigerians gainful employment”.
Lamenting further, the disparity in the standard of living of public office holders, Sanusi revealed that a lawmaker in the House of Representatives earns N25 million monthly, arguing that half of it can employ 135 people with N92, 500 monthly and with 360 members, 48,600 persons can be employed also.
In essence, Sanusi affirmed that 70,400 Nigerians, with monthly salary ranging from N90,000 to N92, 000, can be meaningfully engaged by the Buhari administration if half of the lawmakers’ salaries can be slashed and utilised in employing youths.
The Tide agrees no less with Sanusi’s postulations. We are, indeed, amazed that NASS alone gulps over 25 percent of Federal Government’s overhead. This cannot continue in a fragile economy that is striving hard to stabilise after exiting from economic recession.
It is a public knowledge that Nigerian parliament is ranked the highest paid in the world, thus, a reduction in the members’ salaries cannot be misplaced as propounded by Sanusi and other well-meaning Nigerians.
With high rate of poverty and unemployment in the country leading to crimes and criminality such as armed robbery, kidnapping, illegal bunkering, corruption in low and high places, cyber crimes and other fraudulent acts, review of political office holders’ remunerations is inevitable.
Such critical national decisions must be taken to save the country from economic strangulation and near extinction.
It is sad that the middle class, which is the engine room of the economy, appears to have been systematically traumatised and virtually eliminated in Nigeria as the gap between the rich and the poor keeps widening on daily basis. This is unacceptable.
We think that Buhari’s government should take decisive steps to re-jig the economy by creating jobs for the increasing flock of unemployed youths as his administration enters the last lap of his four-year tenure.
We posit that there can be no better time than now for our political office holders to make a sacrifice that can better the lives of Nigerians.
It is unthinkable that in a country where a professor earns less than N500,000 monthly, and a military personnel goes home with a paltry N49,000 per month and some without accommodation, our federal lawmakers who work less than five hours per day smile home with humongous amounts.