HOUSE OF REP MEMBER: WE ARE PAID MEAGER SUMS
Despite calls from many Nigerians condemning the high Severance and Welcome Allocations for members of the National Assembly, a lawmaker, Honourable Nicholas Ossai says Nigerian lawmakers are paid meager sums when compared to the effort they put in.
Honourable Ossai, who was guest of Nigeria Info FM’s programme, Hard Facts, insists members of the National Assembly are sometimes bedeviled with hazards and risks that do not commensurate with the meager sum they get at the end of the day.
“Do you know the hazard in the job when you become a legislator?” he queried presenters Sandra Ezekwesili and Aghogho Oboh.
“Let me tell you something. I just closed from a meeting by 3 o’clock. Most of you are asleep because I want to make sure that this country is in the right step.”
“You see a lot of politicians having high blood pressure. It is because of stress of the job.”
The lawmaker representing Ndokwa/Ukwani constituency of Delta State also added: “At the end of the day he gets hypertension and you say there is no stress in the job? When you receive a meager sum of money and people are shouting.”
When asked to clarify if indeed the over twenty three billion naira severance package for the 8th Assembly and four billion naira allocated new members of the national assembly is meager, Honourable Ossai insisted: “Of course it is not big.”
“When you talk about new members coming in from their various constituencies that have not been in Abuja before and you want to give them accommodation of less than what a 3 bedroom flat earn in Abuja, and you say it is big?”
Asked if the comments and perception of ordinary Nigerians who have kicked against these huge sums does not bother legislators, the lawmaker noted that he has “listened to the arguments and the arguments hold no waters. We are here to make sure there is value for money created.”
He also insists that despite claims that lawmakers in Western countries like the United States earn low, the National Assembly members have “compared each other’s and America still remains high.”
The 9th Assembly was inaugurated today in Abuja.