Members of the House of Representatives are demanding an upward review of their salaries and allowances, following the removal of fuel subsidy and the current economic situation in the country, the News Agency of Nigeria reports
NAN gathered that the demand was the outcome of a meeting the lawmakers had on 11 July after going into an executive session during plenary.
The complaints from members arising from salaries and allowances forced the House to go into executive session in order to douse tension.
The lawmakers had also demanded from the Speaker, Tajudeen Abass, the reason for the delay in the payment of their salaries and allowances, causing some of them to resort to loans.
However, one of the lawmakers who was at the meeting but craved anonymity because he was not permitted to speak on the outcome of the executive session, said they only spoke about salary increase and not delayed payment.
The lawmaker said they only told the speaker that their salaries and allowances could no longer meet the demand of their job, hence a review was necessary.
“So nobody talked about any money or whether we have been paid or not,” the lawmaker explained.
The source said their request was a sequel to the current economic reality following the subsidy removal which had caused hardship, making goods and services skyrocket in the country.
The lawmaker said the speaker did not promise them anything on the review of their salaries and allowances, because such demand could only be accommodated in the budget after due process.
According to the legislator, the speaker however told his colleagues that their demand for a review of their salaries and allowances was not in the 2023 budget.
According to the source, the speaker could not have promised anything, and “We all know the situation in the country, we are all facing the same problem.”
The agency that decides the salaries and allowances of public officials, RMAFC, had proposed a 100 per cent increase in the salaries of public officials but the approval is yet to be approved by the president or reflected in the budget.
Meanwhile, to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal, the House of Representatives received a communication from President Bola Tinubu on 12 July, seeking an amendment to the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act.
The amendment is to accommodate N500 billion for the provision of palliatives for Nigerians.
in the letter, Mr Tinubu said the request was necessary to enable the government to provide palliatives for Nigerians to cushion the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy.
Following the removal of subsidy on petrol that saw the price rise by almost 200 per cent, one of the demands of workers’ unions such as the NLC is an increase in workers’ salaries by at least 100 per cent. However, negotiations are still ongoing for that.
However, unlike civil servants who are poorly paid with a minimum wage of N30,000, Nigerian lawmakers are among the highest paid in the world with the lowest-paid lawmaker earning over 10 times the civil servant’s minimum wage. Apart from salaries, the allowances each lawmaker gets also run into millions of naira monthly.
The proposal by RMAFC of a 100 per cent increase in salaries of lawmakers had been condemned by many Nigerians forcing President Bola Tinubu to announce that he had yet to approve such an increase.