UPDATE: 'Lawmakers’ Need More Salaries' – Dep Speaker, Benjamin Kalu

UPDATE: ‘Lawmakers’ Need More Salaries’ – Dep Speaker, Benjamin Kalu

by Victor Ndubuisi

Benjamin Kalu, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, stated on Monday that federal legislators’ current pay is insufficient to enable them to successfully perform their elected duties.

Kalu pleaded for understanding, stressing that the average lawmaker’s take-home wage is substantially less than what is often believed.

He said that the suggestion made by some to cut their pay by 50% is not the solution to the current problem.

During his Monday interview on Channels Television’s “Politics Today,” Kalu said these things.

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Kalu said, “At the moment, talking about the salary of the National Assembly. I have said this over and again, it is not as much as people think. Salary is different from allowance, which is meant to do the jobs our constituents have sent us to do.

“Nobody is allowed to touch allowances. It is the salary that belongs to you. Allowances have no subheadings for which they are made for. If you use it wrongly, when you are retiring it, you will be sanctioned for that.

“So talking about the salaries of the National Assembly, it is a far cry from what is supposed to be. And I can assure you that even if we reduce it by 50 per cent or 80 per cent, it will not really impact what the Nigerian lawmakers should be earning, which does not go in tandem with the economic situation of the country.

“I can assure you that based on economic indices at the moment, inflation rate and the rest of them, the amount members of the National Assembly receive cannot actually take them home to do their their jobs in their various constituencies.

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“Considering the cost of transport, running constituency offices and the number of maintaining aides who are supposed to have you achieve what the mandate of that office demands, it is not a discussion that will add value to the crisis we are faced with.

“But I can assure you they will be willing to adjust. If that is what will move Nigeria to the next level, why not? After all, we did not send ourselves there. We were voted in by the constituents.”


The lawmaker from Abia praised President Bola Tinubu for his audacious choice to order the full implementation of the Steve Oronsaye panel’s 2012 recommendations. According to Tinubu’s direction, a committee will be formed and given a 12-week deadline to carry out the mergers, abolitions, and relocations of the 541 parastatals, commissions, and agencies that belong to the Federal Government.

“Like you rightly pointed out, you mentioned cutting cost of governance. This shows that when you look at the President’s body language and determination, he is intentional about reducing the cost of running the government. If he’s not, he will not be looking for that document.

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“I want to thank him for (that) because some of the issues mentioned in that report, we are going to use them as source materials for the work we are doing on Constitution review. And we’re happy that Mr President is forward thinking for him to embrace that report. He means well for Nigeria, especially during this period when we are facing a lot of challenges. In reducing the cost of running government, the need for it cannot be overemphasised,” he stated.


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