14 July 2011
Written by Turaki A. Hassan
Members of the House of Representatives have reduced the quarterly running cost of their offices and allowances from N42 million to N26.4 million, a spokesman said.
Rep Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (ACN,
), chairman House ad-hoc committee on Media and Publicity, disclosed this to newsman at the National Assembly complex yesterday. Lagos
He said the cut was a collective decision of all members of the House.
Bamidele did not say whether the reduction was on the N27 million initial running allowance for each member or the N42 million which the last House did when they collapsed their capital votes and shared among the 360-member House under the leadership of embattled former Speaker Dimeji Bankole.
But Daily Trust gathered that the green chamber ‘actually reduced the quarterly allowances from N42m to N26.4m which is about the same N27m the last House paid lawmakers before the ‘illegal collapsed’.
The legislators explained that, downward review of members’ running costs was necessitated by the desire to “reduce cost of governance” in the country and free more money for infrastructural development.
The cut, according to them, does not affect members’ salaries which are usually fixed by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
“It is our hope that this explanation would finally lay the issue high cost of maintaining members to rest because it is becoming a distraction to the House. The same people who fixed the running costs have responded to the yearnings of the Nigerian people,” Bamidele said.
The lawmakers, however, warned that they will monitor the executive to ensure total compliance with the new financial regulation and fiscal conservatism.
For a lousy bunch that does nothing for Nigeria , this amount is too high , way too high in a country that most of its citizens live on 1 dollar a day and the minimum wage pegged shamefully at N8000 a month [N1800 - $115] . N26 million for a quarter ? For doing what ? Is anybody asking questions ? What a country ....How about the almighty Senators ? I can only imagine what they earn .
So by years end , each member of House of Reps will be receiving an upward of N100 million . For doing what ? This one deserves a-million-man match on the grounds of the National Assembly by concerned citizens until they slash deeply into these outrageous quarterly allowances....No wonder elections remain a do or die affair in our country . As long as Nigerians do not speak up and allow this to continue , they should stop complaining ..Have your say .