Legislators Should Take Only Honorarium – Prof. Anetekhai  | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Cover Choice, POLITICS

Legislators Should Take Only Honorarium – Prof. Anetekhai 

Posted: Jun 21, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

What is your opinion on the N9billion wardrobe allowance for National Assembly members?

Well, it is normal that responsibilities should go with commensurate remuneration but definitely, N9billion allowance is on the high side relative to the budget of the nation. I believe that whoever presents himself for service to the people should get honorarium and should not tie his service to remuneration. It is also my belief that those who want to serve should have means of livelihood so that when they get there, they will render the service while we pay for their accommodation, transportation and feeding. The money that should be given them will just be small, to enable them to entertain their guests. I have not seen in any other place where being a legislator is a permanent job.  You are only going there to serve and when you so serve you take honorarium; it is not a place you go and make billions. However, we should look forward to when, if one should want to be a legislator one should have other means of livelihood; either that the person has a company or that he has a thriving business so that when he ends his service he can go back to the business.

Considering that the allocation is given to them by a body, the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), legally authorised to do so, don’t you think that the complaints by Nigerians are unnecessary?

The complaints by Nigerians are justified because if you take what is not proportionate with your contribution people will complain. People who make quality contribution can get good pay but here we see people who don’t contribute much having fleet of cars and you wonder what they do with such number of cars. Even professors who really toil do not earn much. So, I honestly believe that, given the situation we find ourselves now and the level of poverty in the land, that money should be reduced. Where you have somebody with a PhD roaming the streets without a job just because he does not have the opportunity or when he gets one he earns less than N200,000, how does he feel when he hears that the  allowance of a legislator is N10million, even when qualitatively that legislator may not be better than him in terms of mental contribution to the nation. So honestly, I believe that there should be a review of the policy to make it such that before one becomes a legislator one must have a serious and proven means of livelihood.