The Nigerian #democracy has been identified as one of the costliest in the world as a result of a large number of political office holders.
Some experts, for instance, think that a cabinet made up of 42 ministers is too large.
However, the worry of many Nigerians is not what the lawmakers earn monthly but what accrues to them through self-appropriation and constituency projects.
#President #Jonathan, Vice-president Namadi Sambo, non-returning federal lawmakers, ministers and presidential aides will collect a whopping N3.24bn as severance allowances upon leaving office in May, 2015.
Two #activist lawyers – #Jiti Ogunye and #Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa – faulted the basis for earmarking such an amount of money for such purposes in the face of the economic challenges the country is grappling with, reported The PUNCH.
While Adegboruwa argued that the political office holders were not entitled to any #severance allowance given what they earned as salaries and benefits while in office, Ogunye called for a drastic cut in the allowances.
Adegboruwa said that since the political office holders had been paid what could sustain them and their families for the rest of their lives, they were no longer entitled to severance #allowance.
He said, “I believe that given the monumental and outrageous salaries, benefits and allowances that are being paid to the outgoing members of this executive, the legislators especially the House of Representatives, senators and ministers, I believe they should save Nigerians from the luxury of any #outrageous allowance.
“This incoming government needs a lot of resources to fulfil its campaign promises. Our incoming government is likely to remain stagnant for now. Nigeria cannot afford the luxury in the name of severance allowance. Our people are suffering. They should have mercy on Nigeria. What they have taken is enough to sustain them and their families for the rest of their lives.”
Ogunye said, “While the #RMAFAC could have its own scale, guidelines and parameters for determining those political office holders who qualify for these severance benefits and the quantum each of them and all of them should recieve, we cannot but point out that this amount, in the circumstances of our dire economic situation, is outrageous.
“It is carrying the culture of profligacy and corruption in the conduct of our public affairs too far. At this point of economic recession and dwindling oil revenue, RMFAC ought to be chiefly concerned with revenue mobilisation to cater for the shortfall in the funding of the yet to be passed 2015 Appropriation bill.
“We suggest a drastic cut in the amount. Political office holders do not necessarily serve Nigeria more and better than school teachers, lecturers, judges, health workers et cetra, who take home modest gratituities and pensions after 35 years of service.”
The Publicity Secretary of the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said, “It is unjust and morally reprehensible for these officials who mostly have fleeced the public till with veracious rapacity to legislate crazy #retirement benefits.
“It is nothing but robbing the public for people who lived off the #state for four or eight years to want to become permanent liability on the system.
“This is a country where civil servants who served the country for 35 years are queuing to death for pensions that mostly remain unpaid. There are no serious countries in the world where public officials earn what ours take not to talk of the sickening retirement benefits they ask for.”
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