House: Members of Executive Should Reduce their Salaries

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Benjamin Kalu

Udora Orizu in Abuja

The Spokesman of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, yesterday said the clamor by Nigerians for the reduction of salaries of political office holders should start with the executive arm of the government, “as they get the major percentage of the annual national budget.”

Kalu stated this in response to a question during a press briefing at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.

This is as he revealed that the various committees of the House from next week Wednesday will start submission of budget defence reports.

The lawmaker, when asked if there’s a possibility for the legislative arm of government to disclose to the citizens how much they earn and the call for reduction of their salary, said the 0.8 percent of the national budget given to the legislature is too small, as the institution is struggling and needs to be energised more.

Kalu lamented that Nigerians are being sold the wrong narrative, saying if there’s need to cut salaries or reduce the cost of governance, it should start with the executive arm of government.

According to him, “The 0.8 percent of the national budget for the National Assembly is not enough to run the institution. If you want to cut salaries, expenses and cost of governance, start with the executive arm of the government. That’s the truth, because the 0.8 percent you’re talking about takes care of the Senate, as people think that the money that comes to the National Assembly is divided by members of the House of Representatives. That’s a wrong narrative being told, and that’s what Nigerians believe.

‘’That’s why my office is actually engaging in what’s called info graphics that’s going to be released very soon; it will break it down everything once members approve it, so that you would know where everything goes into, and Nigerians will be shocked that those they thought were rich are not able to meet their needs, which is the
truth.”

On meeting up with the January to December budget cycle, the spokesman said: “You’ve been following the events in regards to this budget. We are committed to meeting up with the budget calendar to make sure that by January, Nigeria will have a new budget to work with. So all we’ve been doing is to meet up with the January to December calendar, and I want to thank the members of various committees for their dedication. The House gave each of them a deadline and most of them will start turning in their report from next week Wednesday.”