Fury as Nigerian senators each receive a wardrobe budget of 2500 dollars.
In light of Nigeria’s current fiscal challenges, political analyst Francois Conradie agreed that there appears to be a disconnect between Nigeria’s elite and how the ordinary citizens are affected by the current economic situation.
“What’s interesting is the way in which this is changing on the part of the citizenry. People aren’t as patient as before, as tolerant of politicians paying themselves these huge salaries while normal people are struggling. They are mobilising very quickly to make politicians understand that this is no longer acceptable,” said Conradie.
He believes that this year’s election marked a change between the Nigerian government and its people. This is notable in Bukola Saraki’s speedy response in reaching out to the media after a a day-long social media uproar.
“That’s an interesting thing and an important thing the way Nigerians speak up more to their governments,” Conradie explained.
According to a report in The Economist 2013, Nigerian law-makers are among the highest paid in the world, with South Africa and Kenya in that category as well.
Nigerian law-makers salaries in 2013 were 116 times Nigeria’s GDP per person whereas Britain’s law-makers were only two times.
Conradie said the APC campaign should have already contained specific measures on budgets and pay. According to reports, Saraki has said the operating budget for the National Assembly has already come down from 150 billion naira to 120 billion.
“There’s still too much money going into current expenditure and not enough going into employment boosting and capital projects,” Conradie added.
He substantiated that many Nigerians would like to see a sense of urgency from the politicians especially with a lot of state-level government unable to pay their employees.
“This would be a good time for the National Assembly to show their solidarity.”