Organised labour and the Nigerian Bar Association have disagreed with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for saying that members of the National Assembly are not overpaid for the work they do.
They said it was not only disappointing, but also appaling for the President to overlook the country’s economic reality and the suffering of Nigerians while justifying the lawmakers’ jumbo pay.
The President of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (Trade Union Side), AbdlRauf Adeniji, said labour, not the legislature, created wealth of the nation.
The NBA’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kunle Edun, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said legislators received unrealistic pay that was inconsistent with the state of the economy where the national minimum wage is N30,000 per month.
Buhari had, on Wednesday during the House of Representatives’ launch of The Green Chamber Magazine, a publication by the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, said it was wrong for Nigerians to perceive the National Assembly as being “highly overpaid” for doing little.
Buhari had said, “Hitherto, the public perception of the National Assembly is that of a bicameral legislature where overly comfortable and highly-overpaid members merely stuff wads of currency notes into their pockets for little work done. This wrong perception has resulted partly from the lack of understanding of the enormous work of lawmakers, especially outside the glare of television cameras.”