#NASSpayCutNow: It is ridiculous for anyone to say these demands are too much

If we can all for a moment hyper-visualise a Nigerian senator and someone as regular as a bus conductor at a bus stop in Lagos, it becomes immediately clear who among the two deserves allowances like hardship allowance, newspaper allowance, wardrobe allowance etc. And, when you hear hardship allowance, you may want to readily pick the conductor to benefit from such, but the reverse is the case in Nigeria.

Before now, Nigerians were used to just expressing shock over reports of bloated salaries and allowances of government executives like Senators. But the #EndSARS protest has given Nigerians the power to go beyond their shock and demand for an absolute change in the system. Nigerians were particularly upset by the tag ‘hardship allowance’, ‘newspaper allowance’, and wardrobe allowance’ which came off like adding salt to injury, especially when you consider how citizens are currently on the street fighting for good governance and their right to live without being harassed or murdered by the police.

This protest has evidently developed to address certain areas of the economy and this hashtag, #NASSpayCutNow, is aimed at the reduction of exorbitant salaries for government officials.

Breakdown of what a Nigerian Senator earns:

RUNNING COST,

Newspaper Allowance………..₦1.24 million;

Wardrobe Allowance………….₦0.62 million;

Recess Allowance……………₦0.25 million;

Accommodation………………₦4.97 million;

Utilities……………………………₦0.83 million,

Domestic Staff………………….₦1.86 million;

Entertainment………………….₦0.83 million;

Personal Assistant……………….₦0.62 million;

Vehicle Maintenance Allowance…….₦1.86 million;

Leave Allowance…………………..₦0.25 million.

TOTAL RUNNING COST………….N13.58m/month.

This adds up to ₦162.96 million annually.

CONSOLIDATED SALARY,

He goes home with ₦750, 000 monthly. This sums up to ₦9 million annually. He claims he is entitled to ₦200 million annually to execute projects which are the duty of the Executive.

SUMMARY: Annual Salary…….N9,000,000 per annum;

Running Allowance….₦163,000,000 per annum;

Constituency Projects……..₦200,000,000 per annum,

TOTAL ₦372,000,000 per annum.

This amount is over N1,000,000 every day including Sundays when he is in church/mosque.

They also get:

Severance Gratuity……₦7.43 million;

Furniture Allowance……….₦7.45 million;

Motor Vehicle Allowance…₦9.94 million,

TOTAL ₦24 million.

Remember the minimum wage for Nigerians remains ₦30,000.

And when you remember how Thursday, October 8, 2020, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, while presenting the 2021 Budget Appropriation Bill to the joint session of the National Assembly, stated that Nigeria’s economy may slip back into recession, you lose faith in a system that is hellbent on enriching the pockets of a selected few.

Indeed, if anybody deserves a hardship allowance, it would be the masses who had to witness a bag of rice go from ₦19,000 to ₦36,000 in less than a year.

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