Buhari’s second tenure has newly-elected politicians seemingly running with excited steam. Case in point Lagos governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, whose regime markedly kicked off with LASTMA imposing new rules and penalty for those who flout traffic laws. Accordingly, the new Senate President Ahmed Lawan, perhaps in a bid to show transparency and lead by example, recently revealed during a Senators’ Forum on Tuesday that he takes home N745,000 monthly.
Ahmed believes in running a National Assembly that’s open to the public, and fostering a transparency culture in our political landscape. Furthermore, he refuted the story of National Assembly members entitled to jumbo pay, which is something I have never really understood as far as Nigeria’s politics is concerned. Jumbo pay, as far as we know it, is essentially the perks of being a Nigerian politician and it’s routinely incorporated into the Nigerian budget. These ”special packages,” which include entertainment, furniture, utensils, internet and whatnot, run into several millions of naira and it’s a major reason why many see Nigerian politics as a lucrative venture.
Is Ahmed trying to say jumbo pay are now a thing of the past? How about all the allowances that were earmarked for politicians in the 2019 budget, which also revealed how redundant, parallel agencies were being used as an apparatus to siphon money. Nigeria is still in a lot of debt, and politics still hasn’t been made unattractive as we have all been led to believe.