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Hardship: We ‘ll adjust our pay if…says Deputy Speaker Kalu

Kalu

By Tom Okpe

In response to the prevailing economic challenges faced by Nigerians, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep Benjamin Kalu, has expressed the readiness of House members to make salary adjustments to aid their constituents.

Reflecting on the sacrifices made during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Kalu emphasised the parliament’s commitment to supporting citizens during difficult times.

During an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today, Kalu affirmed the selfless nature of National Assembly leadership, stating their willingness to make necessary sacrifices for the nation’s welfare.

“While our salaries may not cover our responsibilities in our constituencies, we prioritise the needs of our constituents and the nation,” Kalu reassured.

He clarified that while allowances are designated for constituency duties, salaries remain fixed, and any adjustments would be considered in the interest of the Nigerian people.

“We are here to serve the people, and if adjustments are needed to address their concerns, we are prepared to act accordingly,” Kalu affirmed.

The Deputy Speaker made the submission while responding to critical questions on the adoption of the Stephen Oronsanye report by the Federal Government.

The report recommended the merging and scrapping of some agencies, with the aim of cutting governance cost.

He spoke during an interview on Channels TV programme, Politics Today in Abuja.

He said, “I can assure you like we call it the people’s parliament, pulse of the nation determines what we do. If we found out that people are suffering, and we needed to make sacrifices, we will be able to identify with the people.

“I can also, assure you as well that, we are not hoping that this crisis we are going through will linger for a long time. When you have sound government policies, it doesn’t end with policy pronouncements. We need to give timeline for the maturation of that policy.

“At the moment, the salary of National Assembly members is not as much as people think. Salary is different from allowance, which is meant to do the jobs the constituents have sent us to do.

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“Nobody is allowed to touch allowances. It is your salary that belongs to you. Allowances have what they are meant for. If you use it wrongly, you will be sanctioned.

“However, I can assure you of the selflessness of those leading the National Assembly. They are willing to adjust if needs be. If that’s what will help Nigerians move to the next level. We didn’t elect ourselves to be here, we were voted by our constituents.

“I assure you that when we feel their pulse and see that through critical analysis that is unbiased, that it is what will plug the gaps, we will do that,” he stated.

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