The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has demanded an end to the “jumbo” pay deals for legislators and proposed putting them on the civil service salary scale. The statement, signed by SPN National Secretary Chinedu Bosah, was released on Saturday 17 March and is reproduced in full below.
The revelation by Senator Shehu Sanni that each senator earns whopping N13.5 million ($37,458) monthly allowances aside from their N750,000 ($2,081) monthly consolidated salary is not new. It confirms the correctness of the consistent campaign of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) for an end to jumbo salaries and allowances at all levels of government.
The reality is that jumbo salaries and allowances are not enjoyed by the senators alone, but also the federal executive, House of Representatives members, the legislators and executives at state and local government levels including top office holders in agencies, ministries etc. It is unacceptable that a few political office holders across the country, numbering not more than 17,000, earn a whopping sum of N1.1 trillion ($3.05bn) annually. If voted to power, SPN will reduce the salary and allowances of political office holders to that of civil service pay structure and by so doing save at least N900 billion which can be invested in basic infrastructure to create thousands of jobs.
The earnings of political office holders are unjustifiable; it is a crime against the laboring working masses of Nigeria who are subjected to a N18,000 ($49.94) poverty minimum wage. Despite the economic hardship in the country, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other pro-rich political parties have collaborated to rob the people through different means. This is one the pointer that all the bourgeois political parties are the same.
All forms of disparity and inequality are promoted by the capitalist system that makes it possible for leaders and top office holders to live far above the masses so that they do not come under pressure to resolve socio-economic challenges of the masses. High salaries and allowances are also means of corrupting individuals. Similar situation also plays out in the private companies wherein top managers earn far more above workers.
SPN is demanding a minimum wage of N56,000 ($155.38) to workers across the federation without retrenchment and to be regularly increased in line with inflationary rate. We also demand that all political office holders should earn the average wage and allowances of skilled civil servant.
We believe strongly that political offices should be made unattractive to purge the system of careerism, desperation, primitive accumulation of wealth, self-serving interest and neglect of public interest. What is good for the working masses should be good for political office holders!