How Much Should Lawmakers Be Paid?

HOW MUCH SHOULD LAWMAKERS BE PAID?

 

Hello! Good evening, GC. Good evening Lagosians. Wherever you are in Lagos, wherever you ae listening. If you’re joining on Instagram live, you can join @goodcitizenng. @goodcitizenng on Instagram.

Welcome to The Good Citizen Show this lovely Friday. For some of us, it’s the last working Friday of the year; for some of us.

My name is Dami Cruz. I will be your host for today, not your regular Bekeme. She had another engagement that she had to be at today and couldn’t make the show this evening. But she will see her next week on Christmas eve, and you will hear from her next week as well.

Just like play, Christmas is already here. It was just like, how many weeks ago did December start, and we were really talking about Christmas?

I am actually happy to be herewith you all today and it is so exciting to share with you and discuss with you on things that affects us as a nation and how we can actually solve the problem. We can’t just be talking about the problem, but we need to find a way to actually solve that problem.

And actually talking about Christmas just before we start, actually CSR-in-Action will be partnering with IBWU, It Begins With You Foundation, and JCI Nigeria. Hmmm. Something huge. Something hooge. Something hooge is happening next week Wednesday to spread the joy of Christmas to everyone in Ajah, and there will be refreshments, games poetry, presentations and lots more. You can be part of this really if you’d like to be part of this, give initiative, to give back to the community ad you can actually donate non-perishable item and make this Christmas a memorable one for the community.

And if you want to make enquiries about this, this partnership, this party, this Christmas cheer in Ajah, you just call 0906-263-4107 or 0806-766-625. It’s 0806-766-625.

So, please if you would like to be part of this, do join in. you actually put a smile on someone’s face this Christmas. Yes, things are hard, we know that we can put a smile on someone’s face, we know that will be lasting and a lasting experience as well.

And so today, there is a topic we have on mind, and we have on ground. I think it’s something that should be discussed. And the question that I actually have in mind really is, and I will like everyone to call in actually when that time when I open up the line, but the question I would like to ask really is, “How Much Should Lawmakers Be Paid?”

Actually, how much? You know this conversation has actually been happening for awhile but t was something that just came up recently, I think that when the senate president alleged to have indirectly reecho a call to say that the N13 million naira and N8 million quarterly office running cost per member of senate and house of reps, respectively, are among the lowest of the presidential democracy in the world. So, basically, he is saying, look, those 13 million and 8 million respectively, for the senate and for the house of reps is not enough for the office running. And then you would have to ask yourself really, okay, is because of, how is not enough? How? Why? Does it mean we need to reduce the salaries of the lawmakers of the legislators, so they can actually afford to meet this expenditure of the running cost of the office.

So, basically, the lines have been opened. Let me know what you think.

0700-923-923-923

I think we already have a caller

(Call comes in)

Dami Cruz: Hello. Good evening. What’s your name and where are you calling from?

Caller: Hello. Good evening

Dami Cruz: Good evening. Thank you for calling The Good Citizen Show. What’s your name and where are you calling from?

Caller: Yes, please. I wanted to find out if Oslander market fair is going to hold this Saturday. Iwanted to know the venue.

Dami Cruz: I’m not sure about that, but I’m sure the team at IFM will keep you posted. Just keep

Caller: (cuts in) ehn

Dami Cruz: I don’t know about it actually. This is The Good Citizen. We don’t know if it’s going to hold this year. Just keep your ears to the station. I’m sure they will pass some information. There is a slight chance. We don’t know. We have to also keep to covid protocols, and we are not sure if that will be hosting this year as well.

(Call ends)

And so, back to it actually. 0700-923-923-923.

How much should Lawmakers be paid? How much should our lawmakers be paid in Nigeria.

So, 0700-923-923-923.

You can call in to make your thoughts known really. Cause what the senate president actually saying actually adequate? Do you think 30 million for the senate…

(Call comes in)

Dami Cruz: Hello. Good evening. Thank you for calling The Good Citizen Show. What’s your name? and where are you calling from?

Caller: Hello. Good evening. My name is Friday calling you from Ikorodu.

Dami Cruz: Okay. Good evening, Friday. Thank you for calling. What are your thoughts on these?

Caller: Yeah. What I want to say is, it not their fault. It’s not their fault. That’s why somebody will come and say 13 million in a month

Dami Cruz: (Cuts in) It’s actually quarterly though. That is basically, it will be divided by 13 million by 3, maybe about 3 million. I’m thinking 2 point Something million. Maybe. but 2 point something million per month. But 13 million per quarter.

Caller: 13 million per quarter?

Dami Cruz: Yes

Caller: That is enough for them to run

Dami Cruz: The office running cost

Caller: that they can be able to tell us on white paper. That is white paper. The one they can be able to tell us om white paper. No sitting allowance. No other thing. Sitting allowance is not there o. this one is just the one I the white paper they call it. because when they want to discuss, they say white paper

Dami Cruz: Hmmm

Caller: the one that they can be able to write out. It’s not their fault. Okay! How much is professor? The lecturer taking in year? The salary of the lecturer and the professor, even the police that secure them

Dami Cruz: Hmmm

Caller: let them not throw to it because of they throw it to us, we can be angry and then change our mind in another way, in another dimension

Dami Cruz: Hmmm

Caller: let them manage the money because if it’s not the law, let them manage it. Let them not expect us to add more to it again because people are, you know, somebody will hear 13 million, collapsed. The person that cannot be able to afford food to get 10,000 in a month. Then somebody is telling us, you understand

Dami Cruz: Hmmmm

Caller: (voice becomes inaudible) are noise

Dami Cruz: Hmm

Caller: many people, this Christmas cannot be able to afford even 5,000 to feed his family. 2,000 to feed his family on the 25th. Then somebody will now come up and telling Nigerians that they are managing it. That they are doing us favour.

Dami Cruz: Hmmm

Caller: In what way? It is because they throw it to us, we keep quiet. So that is it. So, it’s not their fault.

Dami Cruz: (Laughs) Thank you very much.

(Calls ends)

Yeah! It’s really a point of concern. Because at what is this actually coming from, really. At what cost is it going to be funding, is it from national budget or is it, from where? Where is the revenue coming from? Is it from our tax money where everybody is trying to hustle 7.5 VAT? You know, it’s a struggle.

And just to break it down, if you bring it down, to may their salaries, how much they take home per se. according to a story, maybe a breakdown a few years ago, Nigeria reportedly has the second highest paid federal legislators in the world. With each senators earning roughly around half a million dollars per year in salaries and allowances, which usually will result in about 20 billion per year and 79 billion per year at the end of the legislative tenure.

You know, I mean, common. This is literally billions and apparently, given that the members of senate only required to seat for at least a hundred and eighty days a year, this equates to 1 million per day. So, you need to actually ask that question, is there actually value for money concerning this matter? So, our lawmakers, are they actually, what they are earning, is it the same value we are getting as Nigerians? This is the question we need to even answer.

Once more, I would want to hear your thoughts on these. 0700-923-923-923. That’s 0700-923-923-923.

So, call us and let us know, how much should they be paid? Basically, I think there was one calculator I did, so if an annual salary, so the average, let even go back to the basic Nigeria, the average Nigerian. A person working in Nigeria, he typically earns, this is just the average, the actual average, maybe 300k per month. That is the minimum, but the lowest average obviously, could be less than that. Meaning, when you have to think of this, think of it as average. Not necessary. The average is different. You know, it captures a lot of things.                But when you think of the lowest range of the average, goes to maybe 85,000 or maybe 50,000. And then the highest average will be about 1.5million. right?

That is what your monthly average salary including housing, transport and all of that for your typical average maybe working-class Nigerian. That is what they would earn. I mean, you have to also take into factor that would vary according to whatever place the person is working.

You know a person working in a restaurant like maybe per timer or term, will not maybe get that much. But at the same time, you have your working-class person, you know full on, you have reached the high level. You’re a director. Maybe earning about 1.5 or something. And there was this calculator, I think that was done by the BBC.  And they said if your annual salary before tax, let’s do it before tax is about 1.5 million, it will take a senator 7 hours and 1 minute to make that money.

Meanwhile it’s going to take you, maybe give or take, 30 days, I mean 1 year to get that money. You know, if someone was earning 1.5 million, this is rough estimate really, it will take you approximately, on the current salary that this person was earning, about 1.5 million, to take the person approximately, an hundred and four years to earn a senator’s annual income including expenses.

So, basically, you’d need to have worked continuously from the year 1917 until now to receive what a senator does in a year. I mean that is to put into context, what they are earning. Is it actually worth that money? What, you need to ask that question, what are they doing? What do actually, what do lawmakers do? Yes, they, you know they say, they sit in the this thing, they make the laws. But we as Nigerians, as those laws really benefitted us as the average person? As the average Nigerian? No, in the case.

It is very difficult to have this conversation. But I need to hear more people talk about this, you know. What are we going to do about this? What can we actually do to address this case or this matter? because if they say, oh, 13 million, 8 million is not enough, what then is going to happen? Does that mean taxes will going up? Does that inflation will go up? Does that the average man will have to suffer so the senators will enjoy. This is the kind of question we need to be asking.

So, before we go, while we still wait for your calls, we will just go on a short break, and when we return, we would continue this conversation. “How Much Should Our Lawmakers Be Earning in Nigeria?”

 

(BREAK)

 

Okay. Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!! Welcome to The Good Citizen Show today about what should lawmakers be earning in Nigeria? Based on the fact that senate in the house of reps has said that the 13 million for the senate and for the 8 million for the house of reps….

(Call comes in)

Dami Cruz: Hello. Good evening. Thank you for calling for The Good Citizen Show. Where are you calling from and what’s your name?

Caller: Hello. Good evening. This is Gilbert, calling from Lekki

Dami Cruz: Okay, good evening, Gilbert. Thank you. What are thoughts on these?

Caller: my brother, having heard this, in fact temperature has started increasing

Dami Cruz: Oh, wow.

Caller: Because, I see no reason, somebody earns that amount of money, still trying or going about crying that that amount of money is not enough. That is why you see them die at the hands of assassins.

Dami Cruz: Okay

(Call ends)

Okay. Thank you. Okay we have another call.

(Call comes in)

Dami Cruz: Good evening. Thank you for calling The Good Citizen. What’s your name? and where are you calling from?

Caller: (voice becomes inaudible)

Dami Cruz: Hello. Good evening. Where are you calling from? You’re breaking up slightly

Caller: So, my name is (voice becomes inaudible)

Dami Cruz: Your name is? I didn’t get that actually

Caller: (voice becomes inaudlble)

Dami Cruz: You’re breaking up

Caller: so

Dami Cruz: Hello?

(Call ends)

We lost that call

So, please keep trying to call back. It’s 0700-923-923-923 and if by chance you reach us, send us WhatsApp message 0817-313-6193. And again, if you call, it’s 0700-923-923-923

 So, really, how much should our lawmakers be earning in Nigeria? Yes, we seeing 15 million is not enough to run, 13 million per quarter is not enough to run the office, why?

(Call comes in)

Dami Cruz: Hello. Good evening. Thank you for calling The Good evening show. What’s your name? where are you calling from?

Caller: This is Okamgbe Luna

Dami Cruz: Your name is?

Caller: Okamgbe Luna

Dami Cruz: Okamgbe Luna. If I pronounce that right

Caller: Yes

Dami Cruz: Alright. Hi. Good evening

Caller: Yeah

Dami Cruz: So, what are your thoughts?

Caller: the only issue about this immunization of lawmakers, they should look at like at their jobs should be par time.  How many times do they sit in a year?

Dami Cruz: Hmmmm

Caller: How many days do they come for the senate? And you give them all kind of things, all kind of allowances, security this, this and that, I think they should be paid per sitting, and that is what operates in most developed countries that I have read about

Dami Cruz: Okay

Caller: They should be paid according to their sitting. If you feel like, 10 sitting or 20 sitting in a year, that’s what would you be paid.

Dami Cruz: Hmmm

Caller: not for you to be on the basic salary as if you should, all these guys have things that they are doing. They are established people. they have money. They are already rich. So, they should come as national service. Not to come and improvish us the more, please. Because when they come and carry money in Ghana must go and be making themselves more, I mean, you know, richer than they use to be. So, it shouldn’t be like that. It should be service

Dami Cruz: (cuts in) Hmmm

Caller: to the nation

Dami Cruz: (cuts in) to the nation

Caller: Thank you

Dami Cruz: Service to the nation. Thank you very much! Thank you very much!

(Call ends)

(Calls comes in and ends abruptly)

Oh! We lost that call. Keep trying to call 0700-923-923-923.

(Call comes in)

Dami Cruz: Good evening. What’s your name? where are you calling from?

Caller: Good evening. My name is Benjamin.

Dami Cruz: Okay. Good evening, Benjamin

Caller: Yes sir. Sir, you see this issue, the money this people are taking is (voice becomes inaudible) for some of us. In y school, some of the considerations we have, some of them, you can find out that some of them are not collecting up too 500,000, still they go for lectures.

Dami Cruz: Hmm

Caller: So, why are they complaining?

Dami Cruz: Hmmm

Caller: is only, they should take it. It’s too much. For poor people around, it’s too much. Thank you

Dami Cruz: Thank you

(Call ends)

Thank you very much. I thank you very much.

(Call comes in)

Dami Cruz: Hello. Good evening. What’s your name? where are you calling from?

Caller: Hello. Good evening. My name is Sam. I’m calling from Lekki

Dami Cruz: Okay! Good evening, Mr Sam

Caller: I’m just wondering, this (voice becomes inaudible) you’re calling, the present senators and the house of reps member, don’t they didn’t see salaries for themselves? They didn’t see salaries for themselves, so I am wondering, don’t we have mechanisms or a procedure, that will look into this matter, while something it depends on the day, on the date, when will it come to an end? I understand that they are Lawmakers, they are the one that will put in motion materially for the (Voice becomes inaudible), but (voice becomes inaudible). But they want more. So, we have a revenue, I think something really that would look into this matter, so that once and for all, let’s tell themselves this (voice becomes inaudible). So that we will not be a disgrace every year upon year. Every year, it is much it is not too much. If it’s too much, let those who feel their salary, make some readjustment going forward. Ehen?

Dami Cruz: Yes

Caller: Thank you

Dami Cruz: Thank you very much

Caller:  Thank you very much. Thank you very much for that call.

This was something that I had even actually mentioned. Is it that they have to reduce their salaries to be able accommodate their office running cost, really? Because yes, even if you were in the office, like I mentioned earlier as well, a senators should usually be sitting in the office, maybe coming to sit for a hundred and eighty days in a year. At least a hundred and eighty days, and that is how many months? Actually, not as if they will be coming every day. Because we have to think of it, is it actually worth, imagine, it may not be the same way, but you have to imagine it as if you’re running an office.

If you’re running an office and you realise, oh our operational cost or over head cost are getting too much, we need to cut down on certain things, sometimes we actually find, unfortunately some organisations will decide to lay off some staff. Should it be considered as well for our legislature?

(Call comes in)

Dami Cruz: Hello. Good evening. Thank you for calling The Good Citizen Show. What’s your name? where are you calling from?

Caller: Hi! My name is Doyin. I’m calling from Yaba

Dami Cruz: Your name is what, sorry?

Caller: Doyin

Dami Cruz: Doyin, okay. Doyin from Yaba, thank you for calling The Good Citizen Show. What’s your thoughts? What are your thoughts on these?

Caller: I do think that primarily we should first of all scrap an arm of the national assembly

Dami Cruz: Hmmm

Caller: Its kind of just consume a lot of money and then expenses will become (voice becomes inaudible) just going, it’s high. I kind of think if we scrap the senate for instance,

Dami Cruz: (cuts in) Hmmm

Caller: the representation, or the house of reps would have., at least we can cut down the cost of governance

Dami Cruz: Hmmm

Caller: You can also reduce salaries. Now the thing is, take their salaries out at 10, more or 150% more (voice becomes inaudible). So, if you say the minimum is 30k and then given them extra 50k, or extra 15k so to speak, (voice becomes inaudible). We can also now then pay them housing allowance (voice becomes inaudible)

Dami Cruz: Hmmm, you’re actually kind of breaking off, so your ideas are not really coming in very straight. But, I can hear when you were saying if they can reduce certain allowances by certain percentages, not necessarily just cutting out all cost, yeah. But reducing certain percentages, how things should go. Your thoughts actually align with somebody’s else.

Thank you so much Doyin. I don’t know if you’re still here.

Caller: (voice becomes inaudible)

Dami Cruz: Hello

Caller: (voice becomes inaudible)

Dami Cruz: You’re still actually breaking up. Actually.

Caller: Okay

Dami Cruz: You’re still breaking up. So sorry about that

(Call ends)

But your thoughts actually align with someone else

(Call comes in)

Dami Cruz: Thank you for calling The Good Citizen Show. What’s the name and where are you calling from?

Caller: My name is Ben. I’m calling from Lekki Phase 1

Dami Cruz: Okay. Good evening, Ben. Thank you calling The Good Citizen Show. What are your thoughts?

Caller: to me, I don’t see reason why we should cut down the cost of governance of the legislature or their salaries

Dami Cruz: Hmmm

Caller: if you, I don’t know maybe you need to take a look or go to the national assembly and see the way these guys work

Dami Cruz: Hmmm

Caller: it is not really that this money goes to them. These guys have a lot of personnel

Dami Cruz: (Cuts in) Hmmm

Caller: working with them. And you have a Ph.d work with these guys. They have a master’s degree holder works with these guys, not two, not three, not five, not six, nothing. So, if you look at the salaries of these guys, out of these the same allowances everything they pay them. So, you see, sometimes it is a very difficult sometimes when we don’t have the fact about all these. Sometimes we should come to the conclusion, oh 40 million is too much.

Dami Cruz: Hmmm. Okay. I’m thinking. Just a quick question

Caller: (voice becomes inaudible) You should know

Dami Cruz: Sorry. Just a quick question. I try to understand phase. So, basically, the senators are getting paid, are you saying the senators get, let say, the senators themselves will get, let’s say a 13 million salary for example, and then out of that 13 million, and they are paying their aides, and the aides are actually not being paid from the government or the government is paying them to pay their aides?

Caller: Everything included

Dami Cruz: so, that’s the breakdown?

Caller: Then, I’m telling you the truth

Dami Cruz: That is interesting

Caller: (voice becomes inaudible) Personal people are working with them

Dami Cruz: Personal people

Caller: The people that government pay are the security guards. All this kind of security in the police and whatever stuff like that. But these, their personnel that work with them, they get paid direct from these guys.

Dami Cruz: Hmm. That’s interesting. I’m still, thank you very much for that. Maybe it’s an insight but if that’s the case, how I mean it’s worrisome.

(Call ends)

Because if then you’re being paid 13 million, this is just 13 million. Because of the things they talk about when they are talking about this 13 million, or for office running cost now

(Call comes in and ends abruptly)

Thank you again Ben for that.

If they say that this 13 million for running cost is for you know, purchasing sometimes flight and these office stationaries and all of those kind of things at the same time. Office running cost, okay, if you’re saying 13 million is too much, thank you very much for that insight. It’s something we may have to look into as well, if that actually is the case.

Can’t their processes be done better? If 13 million is beginning to get too small, what can you then do to realign the expenditure for example, and the processes to say okay, we do actually need to print before, you know that sort of thing

(Call comes in)

Dami Cruz: Hello. Thank you for calling The Citizen Show and you will be our last caller for the day. What’s your name and where are you calling from?

Caller: My Samuel. Calling from Lekki

Dami Cruz: Thank you Samuel from Lekki. What are your thoughts? Just quickly

Caller: I’m very angry at this. I’m not happy. How much are they paying us? Soldiers, we’re dying there, at Boko Haram there. How much are they paying us?

Dami Cruz: Hmmm

Dami Cruz: How much are they paying Police? We are holding guns, riffle guarding the country. I’m not happy. When I hear this, I’m not happy. (Voice becomes inaudible). I’m not happy. So have a nice day.

Caller: (scoffs) Thank you very much for that

(Call ends)

It’s a very saddening situation, really indeed and really, we need to go back and sit down. Like one of the callers said, really, we need to go down, what can happen or what should happen to address this, so we don’t keep talking about this year in year out.

Honestly, just run by so quickly.

I will just remind you again, in partnership, CSR-in-Action in partnership with IBWU foundation and JCI are doing something hooge on Wednesday, next week Wednesday, to spread the joy of Christmas. If you like to donate or get more enquiries, just call 0906-263- 4107 or 0806-766-625.

Thank you for listening to The Good Citizen Show. Thank you all for your valid contributions. It’s something we need to go back and discuss on our own.

Follow us on social media @goodcitizenng. Let us know continue in that conversation. What do we need to do to tackle this issue?

We will see you again next week Friday, by the grace of God. You all have a lovely Friday. Lovely weekend and we see you all again by God’s grace next week. Enjoy your holidays and goodbye.

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