By Emma Amaize
WARRI- NATIONAL coordinator of the Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defence, FJHD, Oghenjabor Ikimi, weekend, lamented that the cost of governance in Nigeria was too high, saying, he could not comprehend why a Senator earns as much as N15 million and member of the House of Representatives – about N12 monthly.
Responding to the recent statement in Abuja by the Federal Government through the Minister of Information and Orientation, Mr. Labaran Maku to the effect that the nation’s economy would collapse if the deregulation of the downstream sector was not implemented, he said, “I volcanically disagree with the Federal Government.”
His words, “I make bold to say that it is the prohibitive cost of governance that would eventually truncate the Nigerian economy, rather than its petroleum subsidy regime.
“I am yet to come to terms with the prohibitive cost of running both the Federal Government and the National Assembly and if I may ask, why is a Nigerian Senator earning as much as N15million per month
“Or better still, why should a member of the Nigerian lower house earn as much as N12million per month in terms of salaries and allowances, outside their constituency allowances”, he asserted.
Ikimi said, “The numerous senseless overseas trips by the President with huge government delegations often transcend into billions of naira in terms of estacode and otherwise. Why on earth is the Federal Government bent on hiking the pump price of petrol when, as a matter of fact , an Abuja High Court has since declared illegal the deregulation of the down- stream sector.”
“In order words, why is the Federal Government still trying to market or promote an illegal policy to Nigerians in the face of the above court verdict, which it is yet to appeal against.
“The above, no doubt, is provocative and Nigerians would resist same. I, therefore, call on the Federal Government to reduce its cost of governance by half, while the jumbo salaries and allowances should be jettisoned in the interest of our ailing economy,” he added.
By Emma Amaize