Economic Hardship: Time for NASS Members to Make Personal Sacrifices

I have always refrained from making commentary on the activities of the over- pampered 469 members of the National Assembly, for obvious reasons.

We now live in a time when most people no longer discuss topical issues of urgent national attention, dispassionately on their merits, without being emotive and sentimental in their postulations.

But today, I have chosen to break away from my ‘sit down look’ position by giving my perspectives on the activities of the members of the National Assembly under this democratic dispensation.

This piece is provoked by the official news in the media space recently, that members of the National Assembly were given money and essential commodities to distribute to cushion the excruciating impact of the present hard times being faced by their constituents nationwide.

This development have provoked a number of fundamental questions begging for answers, from our highly privileged and stupendously rich members of the National Assembly.

First, what is the rationale for the National Assembly members to be empowered by the Federal government before they could reach out to ameriorate the long suffering of their constituents, at a trying time like this?

Regrettably, it has been established that the so-called palliative package they brought home to their various constituencies had no positive impact whatsoever.

To put it mildly, it was a huge waste of resources and a misplaced priority, abinitio.

Most of their intended constituents never benefited from the federal government largese.

Those who are lucky to be given the so-called palliatives, got ridiculous 5 cups of rice per household,as witnessed in several places I visited in my Federal Constituency in Kogi State.

Secondly, why is it that the members of the National Assembly never deemed it necessary to urgment the quantity of the essential commodities they received from the federal government if they are serious in their intentions?

This kind of unpatriotic behavior brings to mind the vexed issues of constituency projects being facilitated by members of the National Assembly,under this democratic dispensation.

There are unrefuted reports from the ICPC that there are rampant cases of diversions of money budgeted for constituency projects by some unscrupulous politicians in the National Assembly.

Now that Nigerians are confronted with the lingering economic hardships,it has become imperative to call on the members of the National Assembly to urgently make personal sacrifices too in the spirit of patriotism and nationalism at a trying time like this.

Let them put their monthly salaries and other emoluments at 50 per cent reduction to be donated to their various constituencies, without further delay.

On the whole, members of the National Assembly should consider the necessity to make personal sacrifices because they are living too large on our common patrimony.

The job of law making and constitutional oversights does not justify their present humongous take home pay and the other perks of office which they enjoy.

The Nigerian economy today can no longer sustain their lavish lifestyle. If care is not taken, the chicken may soon come home to roost.

A word is enough for the wise.


Otori Ozigi, a veteran journalist and PR Consultant, writes from Okene, Kogi State.

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