- Category: Politics
- Published on Thursday, 14 July 2011 06:07
- Written by Admin
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Senators and Representatives, hit by a 40 per cent pay cut, yesterday decided to ask President Goodluck Jonathan how the Executive has cut its overhead.
They are also weighing whether to reject the cut, until the Executive makes its austerity measures public.
But the National Assembly leadership said it might not go back on the 40 per cent cut.
Although Senators and members of the House have been paid N8million per head for accommodation and furniture, they are angry that Ministers are earning more than that.
A Senator from the South, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent after a caucus meeting, said: “If we are talking of cut in overhead, why is the Executive silent on jumbo allowances of its Ministers, Special Advisers and Special Assistants?
“Our position is that before the 40 per cent cut in overhead can become effective, the President must also be forthcoming by laying the cards on the table on how the executive has cut its overhead.
“What we have at the moment is that lawmakers are being made scapegoats.
“Once the Executive does not cut cost, we will certainly revolt and insist on the restoration of the 40 per cent.”
Another Senator said: “At our own meeting, we took note of the fact that the 40 per cent cut may affect interaction between the lawmakers and their senatorial districts and constituencies.
“We also decided to mount pressure on the President of the Senate, Chief David Mark and the Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal, to approach the Executive for its austerity measures.”
A member of the House of Representatives said: “In our case, the cut is about 63 per cent, which is a terrible development.
“Some of us are weighing options on what to do, if the Executive does not cut cost. We want to see clear evidence of what the President and his cabinet have done to reduce overhead.”
Another member of the House from the Northwest said: “This cut in overhead is an acid test for National Assembly leadership. If it does not cut across board, they should be prepared for rough days ahead.
“We want a detailed memo from the Executive on how it has reduced its overhead. We have fulfilled our own part of the bargain but the Executive is foot-dragging.”
By the 2011 budget, the National Assembly is expected to spend N111, 244,416,513, although it had initially jacked up its estimate to N150billion before resolving the grey areas with the Executive.
The National Assembly budget includes Personnel Cost(N17,974,915,979); Overhead Cost(N90,055,657,984); Recurrent(N108,030,573,962) and Capital(N3,213,842,551)
The allowances that might be affected are recurrent (N108, 030,573,962) and overhead cost (N90, 055,657,984), such as travelling, entertainment, oversight to constituencies and projects, medical vacation, and so on. (The Nation)