The following is a short “analysis”, done on the back of the challenge issued here(Link: Cut The Waste: Squeezing Water From The Rock) by Aguntasolo, a man for whom I have utmost respect.
Here is an instant fix to the fuel subsidy brouhaha; each senator in the country should have the total remuneration pegged at N1,296,000 per annum. This would mean a total of about N142 million would be the bill on senator’s remuneration (including allowances). Each member of the House of Representatives should have their annual remuneration fixed at 80% of that of a senator; bringing the total House of Representatives remuneration burden to about N373million. In all, the nation should be spending N515 million per annum on the salaries and allowances of ALL the members of the National Assembly (NASS).
I am joking right? No, I’m not. Here is a quick analysis to validate my request. In the UK, the minimum wage is £5.95/hour, which translates to £11,603 per annum (assuming the standard 37.5hr work week). A member of the UK Parliament earns a little under six times this amount; which is fair, since public service means just that – SERVICE. The Nigerian legislator, from Senator David Mark to the newest back-bencher MUST be prepared to view his involvement in the National Assembly as a sacrifice and not as an avenue to plunder the nation away from the glare of the scrutinising public. And if in their collective bi-cameral wisdom, the two houses of legislature have declared that the minimum wage of the Nigerian worker should be N18,000 per annum, let the legislators, in line with the UK counterparts earn 6 times this amount for their devotion to the Nigerian cause.
Apart from the instant savings to the purse of the Federal Government, this would have the effect of winnowing out the fortune-hunters who might have mistakenly found their way into NASS and leaving room for genuine patriots to go about the business of creating an appropriate legislative framework for the development of the country. Alternatively, if the seemingly insatiable appetite of the National Assembly to devour a quarter of the annual national budget must be met, then it must devote itself to improving the lot of the poorest paid Nigerian worker, so the least paid employee in Nigeria could be paid, say… N300,000 per month.
Geeky analysis aside, I believe the remuneration of elected officials should be indexed against the general wage levels of the country. In addition to the advantages highlighted above, I think this would make a certain politician less of a liar when next he says “I am in your shoes”.