The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, has rubbished the popular notion that Nigerian Senators get jumbo salaries.
The lawmaker rather said that the legislature in Nigeria was underfunded, adding that what accrued to a senator in Nigeria was not up to five per cent of what a senator got in America.
Adeyeye, who represents Ekiti South Senatorial District in the upper chamber, spoke at Ise Ekiti, his home town during a thanksgiving service and reception in his honour at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Oraye, Ise Ekiti and Ise Ekiti Town Hall respectively.
He said, “People don’t appreciate the role of the legislature. That is why they feel legislators don’t deserve what they earn. I know that with time, when we begin to engage the Nigerian public and bring them to the full knowledge of the role of the legislature in this democracy, they will begin to see why the legislator should be given the enablement to perform their roles.”
Adeyeye, who said people misconstrued running costs as jumbo pay for lawmakers, queried: “Why is it that people don’t believe senators should have running cost and they attribute the running cost as their jumbo pay which is not the case?”
The senator who described the running cost as enablement for their oversight functions and other responsibilities, said: “I want you to look at it and see the senator as a cost centre. If you compare what legislature gets to the executive, legislature will be earning infinitesimal.
“The last time I checked, the running cost of a senator in America is $4.6m in a year. We do not get up to five per cent of that. The National Assembly is not over-funded. In fact, it is under-funded. We know the economy in which we are operating in, so everybody will have to adjust,” Adeyeye said.
The senator, however, promised the people of his senatorial district robust representation which they would be proud of, saying: “There are few things that the senator can attract to their districts. I intend to attract them for the benefit of my constituents.”
He said he would use his position to nominate the needs of his district including projects and contracts on roads, culverts, schools and others.