June 12, 2014 – The 469 lawmakers in Nigeria’s National Assembly received an equivalent of N876, 716 if the N150 billion budgeted for the sector is divided by income per capita of $2,248 among federal legislators, Constitutional lawyer, Professor Itse Sagay has said.
He made the revelation in his lecture titled “June 12 and the 4th Republic Challenges”, as part of activities to mark 21st anniversary of the annulment of June 12, 1993 election, believed to have been won by the Late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola.
According to him, the 469 lawmakers will each have received N319.8 by the end of 2014. By contrast, the lawyer posited that the average Nigerian received N29,081 a year or N79.5 per day if the N4.64 trillion appropriated for the year 2014 is divided by the per capita of $2,248 among the 160 million Nigerians.
“2013 National Assembly share of the budget was more. It came to N375,2 million per legislator per year or N1.28 million per day”, he said adding that Nigerians must be grateful for the slight reduction.
He said the figures computed do not include the billions forcefully introduced into the budget as constituency projects by the legislators.
“It is clear therefore that the legislators at the national level live to consume the national patrimony at the expense of the helpless masses”, he said, adding that Nigeria can never develop under these circumstances.
Sagay whose speech was read by Chief Ayo Opadokun called on Nigerian government to adopt the Singaporean model when it comes to fighting corruption by making the convict pay the alleged sum into state coffers, forfeiture of all assets and jail.
Sagay spoke just as Senator Olabiyi Durojaye called for adoption of the 1960 federal constitution, stressing that the time left is not enough for the ongoing national conference to do much when it comes to writing a new constitution for Nigeria.
Durojaye said the 1960 constitution provided for regional government that allowed each of the regions to develop on its own pace, adding that regional government foisted on the nation by her founding father like the Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and the Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo remains the model in the best interest of Nigeria, stressing that the constitution limited powers at the centre to foreign policy, national currency and defence.
He called on Nigerians to pray for success of the ongoing conference as it attempts to restructure Nigeria though it is not exactly what members of the National Democratic Coalition(NADECO) clamored for.