Nigerians will be shocked by the details of earnings of lawmakers in the National Assembly which will soon be released, Benjamin Kalu, the spokesperson for the House of Representatives has said.
Kalu spoke to journalists in reaction to clamours that lawmakers should reduce their salaries and allowances as part of the bid to cut the cost of governance in the face reduction in revenue accruing to the country.
But Kalu said Nigerians are barking at the wrong tree with the focus on the earning of the lawmakers.
Instead, he said the agitations for reduction in expenses should be directed to the executive arm of government, which, according to him, is in charges of spending over 99 per cent of the national budget.
Kalu, who refused to answer questions on the actual salaries, allowances and other perks of office being enjoined by him and his colleagues, however, said Nigerians, will soon realize that their lawmakers are not as rich as they have been thinking as the details of the earnings will soon be published.
According to him, contrary to the ongoing agitations, the 0.8% of the national budget allocated for the National Assembly is not even enough to run the institution.
Kalu said, “If you want to cut salaries, expenses, cost of governance, start it from the executive. That’s the truth, because the 0.8 percent you’re talking about takes care of the Senate, people think that the money that comes to the National Assembly is divided by members of the House of Representatives, that’s a wrong narrative being sold there and that’s what Nigerians believe.
“That’s why my office is actually engaging on what’s called info graphics that’s going to be released very soon, that will break it down once members approve it, so that you know where everything goes into and Nigerians will be shocked that people they thought were rich are not able to meet their needs and that’s the truth.
“It’s high time we started at the 99.902% of the national budget and stop focusing on the 0.8% of the National Assembly. Nigerians are not focusing on that; rather they’ve been conditioned to focus on the 0.8%, is that not deceitful?
“Nigerians need to change their focus and find out what’s happening to that 99.902%. Once we do that, you will see truth will start coming out, and even the Executive will know there’s need to cut down the expenses.