By Deji Elumoye and Udora Orizu
The upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly is considering the possibility of donating half of the Senators’ salaries in March 2020 to the federal government to help in the bid to fight the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic.
The House of Representatives is, however, not thinking along that line as it believes doing so will amount to short changing the members’ constituents.
The latest move by the Senate leadership is a follow up to weekend’s resolution by the 43 ministers that 50 per cent of their March salary will be donated to the federal government to support its drive towards curbing the global virus.
Already, the leadership of the Senate had started reaching out to the Senators about the need for them to donate half of this month’s salary to fight the virus in the country.
Sources told THISDAY yesterday that most Senators had been contacted individually by the Senate leadership with most members accepting the cut in their salaries.
A ranking Senator who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed to THISDAY that he had been approached like other Senators about the donation.
According to him, “the suggestion is a noble one and I have given them the go-ahead to deduct the 50 per cent donation from my March salary.
“I can assure you that most if not all Senators will key into the donation because we all know that nothing will be too small to support the Executive’s decision to wipe out Coronavirus epidemic from our country”.
The Green chamber is, however, of the school of thought that asking for half of salaries of House members will shortchange their constituents from the magnanimity members wants to show and are already showing.
In a telephone chat with THISDAY yesterday, t House Spokesman, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, lamented that if only Nigerians knew their salaries they will not be asking for half of it.
He said, “What will the half of our salaries fetch for our constituents? That’s the easiest sacrifice to make and why Nigerians are asking for the easiest sacrifice from their representatives is what I am not aware of. Especially when the Representatives are willing to do more and are actually doing more than ten salaries put together. Do you know the current price of sanitisers, nose masks, gloves etc? How much do you think our salaries can fetch for our constituents.”