Member representing Esan West, Esan Central and Igueben Federal Constituency in the newly-inaugurated House of Representatives, Chief Joe Edionwele, has described those calling for pay cut for lawmak- ers as ignorant.
Chief Edionwele who is a for- mer local government chairman and immediate past zonal secre- tary (South south) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), told journalists in Abuja yesterday that contrary to popular opinion, some lecturers, bankers and oil workers earn more than federal lawmakers.
He said the raging argument will soon be put to rest, as he promised that details of what each member of the National Assembly earns will be made public. He said pay cut will not in any way increase the financial pulse of the nation, as he argued that the only way out of the cur- rent financial doldrums is to tackle the endemic corruption in the system.
Chief Edionwele said: “I think
people are speaking out of igno- rance. Even before now, I was one of those who believed the same thing. The records will be made public. We will ensure that National Assembly does that. Nigerians need to know. The sal- aries we earn are not in any way close to what people speculate. People in the oil and gas sector, banking and even lecturing earn more than the president and us.
“By the time we make it public, everybody will have peace. It will give you peace. One of my friends told me that the salary and allowances I will earn will be N40 million. I told him if I get that for 10 months, I will resign. I can tell you that by the time it is made public, people will sympa- thise with us. Legislators should earn well so that he will not be corrupt during his oversight functions. But it should not be bloated.
Proffering solutions on how to increase government rev- enues, the federal lawmaker said: “Well, he can. The prob- lem of this country is corruption. When people talk about pay cut, I laugh. How much are we go- ing to get back from the pay cut? The corruption in this country is endemic. Look at the corruption in the oil sector?
If we are able to sanitise that sector for instance, our problem will reduce. If we can know what we generate different agencies, then we can have enough money to finance projects. Look at the governors and their security votes. Their votes are over- bloated. Look at the number of cars governors use.