Deji Adebayo, Abuja
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume has faulted the numerous call by Nigerians for the slashing of National Assembly members’ pay, as he believes the lawmakers’ emoluments do not have any significant effect on the economy.
Senator Ndume made this assertion as a guest on Channels Television’s Hard Copy on Friday evening, followed by Daily Metro News; when he was asked about the impact of the legislators’ pay on the country’s economy, he said, “It has no effect on the economy”.
The federal lawmaker who is representing Borno South in the Senate said, all members of the National Assembly only got N128 billion allocation in the 2021 budget of over N13 trillion.
Ndume said; “For me, call out the National Assembly, cancel the NASS. That means you have N128 billion reduction but does that make any significant difference? Because this thing (calls for the reduction of National Assembly members’ pay) is getting too much for people like me that have come out to serve; not because I came out to be rich”.
Ndume argued that record has it that no legislature has ever garnered wealth because he was at the National Assembly.
“No legislature, go and check the record, has come out and become a rich man because he was one time legislator,” Ndume argued, saying “Go and check.”
According to the Borno born politician, since he ventured into politics in 2003, his lifestyle has not changed. He also insisted that the problem with the country is the cost of governance across all arms of government.
Ndume said; “I joined politics in 2003. Go and ask people, my lifestyle has not really changed. The cost of governance is the problem. The cost of governance at all levels including the National Assembly,” the lawmaker added. “But you cannot be talking about the expensive nature of governance, isolating only the National Assembly.”
He noted that apart from salaries, the budgetary allocation for members of the National Assembly carters for overhead cost and the payment of staff.
“The office is run by money,” he insisted.