When someone says ‘hardship allowance’, you immediately think- money for someone who is going through some form of hardship. I can bet the image of Senators earning more than N29 million a month does not come to mind.
Imagine how surprised Nigerians were when they received the breakdown of monthly earnings of Nigerian senators and it showed senators receive N1.24m as hardship allowance. A screenshot of the salary breakdown on Channels TV made rounds on social media; garnering agitated conversations.
Nigerians were particularly upset by the tag ‘hardship allowance’ which rang like an insult to injury, especially since citizens are currently on the street fighting for their right to live without being harassed or violently murdered by the police. The economy is also getting worse, with prices of basic amenities skyrocketing day by day. If anybody deserves a hardship allowance, it would be the masses who had to witness a bag of rice go from N19,000 to N36,000 in less than a year.
According to the breakdown, senators receive N2.48m as basic salary, N4.97m as constituency allowance and N1.24m as hardship allowance. The breakdown of the senators’ earnings also revealed that the legislators receive N7.45m as furniture allowance, N9.94m as motor vehicle allowance and much more; all totalling up to N29.5 million per month.
The irony of the situation is that there are Nigerians with barely anything to eat; stinking in penniless poverty and on the other side of the spectrum are politicians swimming in more money than they can spend. Truly this life no balance.
The monies expected to be pumped into the Nigerian economy, to build infrastructure, to better Nigeria is used to soften the pillows and buy sparkling water for Nigerian politicians. A proposition for the first step towards attaining a better Nigeria would be to slash the salaries of our politicians, as their ridiculously exorbitant pay is more than the country can afford.
Toluwanimi Onakoya is a spirited writer, creative and videographer. Her biggest drive is to connect with people and depict tales using various forms of media.
Toluwanimi is available on Instagram and Twitter @nimi_onaks