New Telegraph

50% Salary Slash Not Solution To Economic Challenges – Kalu

Benjamin Kalu, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, said that the National Assembly members’ current wage is a “far cry” from what Nigerians believe and that 50% of it cannot be given up to ease the country’s economic challenges.

Kalu’s comment followed a call on the National Assembly members by some Nigerians to significantly reduce their salaries in order to ease the suffering of the country’s citizens amidst the prevailing economic crisis.

Defending the 10th Assembly while speaking on Channels TV, Kalu called for compassion even as Nigerians deal with the country’s current problems.

He told Nigerians that the National Assembly was aware of how serious the situation was and that it did not take their suffering lightly.

Legislators’ fixed salaries, according to Kalu, are insufficient to enable them to carry out the duties for which they were chosen.

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“At the moment, talking about the salary of the National Assembly. I have said this over and over again, it is not as much as people think. Salary is different from allowance, which is meant to do the jobs our constituents have sent us to do.

“Nobody is allowed to touch allowances. It is the salary that belongs to you. Allowances have no subheadings for which they are made. If you use it wrongly, when you are retiring it, you will be sanctioned for that.

“So talking about the salaries of the National Assembly, it is a far cry from what it is supposed to be.

” And I can assure you that even if we reduce it by 50 per cent or 80 per cent, it will not really impact what the Nigerian lawmakers should be earning, which does not go in tandem with the economic situation of the country.

“I can assure you as well that we are not hoping that this crisis we are going through will linger for a very long time because when you have sound policies, it doesn’t end with just policy pronouncement; we need to give a timeline for the maturation of that policy and Nigerians are passing through a phase now in which delayed gratification for a better gain tomorrow is necessary,” he said.

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