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Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Double salaries by 21 serving senators a minus to Nigeria’s economy – Center LDS

Double salaries by 21 serving senators a minus to Nigeria’s economy – Center LDS

The African Center for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Center LDS) has warned that Nigeria’s economy would not grow where up to 21 members in the National Assembly are collecting double salaries.

The Executive Director of the Center, Dr Otive Igbuzor, said this during a two day High Level Multi-Stakeholders Strategic Retreat on fiscal transparency of annual payments of salaries and pensions for elected and public servants held in Uyo on Tuesday.

The Executive Director, who was represented by Mr Ernest Kemakolam, Center LSD Board member, alleged that some political office holders in the country are more interested in their salaries and overhead than what they should give to the society.

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He said the resources that would have been used for the development of states and country were now being channelled to payment of pension and salaries of those elected office holders who are still collecting double emoluments.

He maintained that, ”21 serving senators are currently receiving salaries from their states as former governors and deputy governors.

“Funds that naturally should be channelled into infrastructural development are now used to service the personal interest of political leaders and appointees of government.

“The issue at stake today is a clear case of the former governors and appointees of government placing their private or personal interests over and above their entrusted public functions and unduly influencing the level of benefits they receive,” Igbuzor said.

Igbuzor said that the level of infrastructural deficit in the country would have been reversed if the monies were channelled into real sectors that drive growth and development such as education, health, infrastructure and agriculture.

He commended the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for taking a bold step in the face of the struggle for transparency and accountability, by directing the Kwara government to stop his pension for the period he would be serving as a Senator.

The Acting Chairman, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Mr Victor Muruako, in his goodwill message urged state governments to emulate the federal government by setting up fiscal responsibility commission in their states to block loopholes in financial management of their resources.

Muruako, who was represented by Mr Charles Abana, Head Legal, Investigation and Enforcement in the Commission, urged states to critically review the root causes of insolvency in some states with a view to finding solutions.

He said that effective Fiscal Responsibility Law would engender increased level of implementation of the Fiscal Sustainability Plan in the states.

According to him, this would bring about desirable improvement in the existing public financial management system.

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