A former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Kingsley Moghalu, has called for a 50% cut in the salary and allowances of politicians, particularly lawmakers, due to the current economic challenges of the country.
Moghalu made this recommendation while featuring on Channel TV’s Politics Today, stating that the current extravagant spending of political elites does not reflect the economic condition of the country they govern.
According to him, even though Nigeria is grappling with the challenges of removing the petroleum subsidy, its political leadership and appointees often exhibit a culture of extravagance.
- “The culture of governance is a very important issue that needs to be addressed and the tone has to be set from the top – from the presidency down.
- It has to include the National Assembly because a lot of resources go there, and they are supposed to be independent of the executive.
- “So, they must come on board, examine themselves, and say: ‘Look, even if we have been making this mistake in the past, we cannot continue this way.
- We have to cut our salaries.’ I recommend a 50% cut for all political office holders and all national legislators.
- It would make people a little bit more sober. It would make them understand that we are in hard times,” he said.
Criticism of NASS Members’ New SUV Allocations
Earlier, it was reported that the 360 members of the National Assembly were granted brand new 2023 model Toyota SUVs worth over N100 million each.
Subsequently, many Nigerians have criticized the lawmakers for wanting such expensive vehicles while the citizens are going through a difficult economic crisis.
However, the Chairman of, the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Akin Rotimi, has defended the allocation, stating that it is customary for newly elected members to be given such vehicles to perform their legislative duties and they are expected to pay for it as time goes by.
Responding to the development, the former CBN deputy governor said such liberal spending only promotes a culture of self-aggrandizement, citing that lawmakers in Scandinavian countries ride bicycles to work.
- “So the culture of governance – all these excessive demonstrations of power and influence – is very negative because it shows that government is not for service,
- “It is for self-aggrandizement. It is for political power for its own sake, not for leadership and service,” he said.
Speaking further, Moghalu faulted the country’s fresh quest for an additional $1.5bn loan from the World Bank, saying the monies are not used for the right things.
- “So, my comment is simply a reflection of the fact that the political class in Nigeria – more broadly – has prevented the economic progress of the country because of their own self-seeking and rent-seeking behaviour. This is the problem, not borrowing,” he added.