From Femi Oyelola. Kaduna
The Diaspora Institute for Nigerian Justice and Accountability (DINJA) has demanded cut of financial remunerations of Nigerian Senators and House of Representatives members which it said is crippling Nigerian economy.
The Institute stated this in an open letter to the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representative and made available to the media in Kaduna yesterday.
The institute also said that it will destroy quality of Nigeria’s politics and make it purely monetary based, an act it said potent danger for the country.
Part of the letter, signed by its spokesman, Professor Bitrus Paul Gwamna, read: “We, the members of the Diaspora Institute for Nigerian Justice and Accountability DINJA are gravely concerned about the huge monetary allocations appropriated for the salaries and other benefits to the members of Senate and House of Representatives under your leadership.
This surprised disbursement of funds to the legislature is dismaying, suggesting great insensitivity to the plight of your constituents, as many a Nigerian man, woman or child cannot realistically afford three square meals each day.
“Indeed, what must shock the conscience of the least intelligent individual is the fact that a Nigerian federal legislator draws more than two million dollars ($2,000,000.000) a year as salary and other remunerations!
“Our sources reveal that this stupendous sum per legislator breaks down as follows: Basic Salary (B.S) – N2 484 245.50, Total yearly salary and allowances = N29 479 749.00 x 12 = N353 756 988.00, which is equivalent to $2, 183 685.00 (per capita – 2,710 ) Exchange Rate: $1 = N162.”, it stated.
DINJA further said it is alarmed that after several recorded calls made by various responsible organizations and reasonable citizens, the federal lawmakers continue to ignore their pleas for a review of salaries and benefits with a view to scaling down their expenses.