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I am a political scientist by training but at heart I am a change maker with an insatiable drive to correct the injustices that plague Nigeria.
 
 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Justifiable Raises???

Aminu Waziri Tambuwal Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria

So I think I stumbled across the bill that got the least resistance getting passed in this year’s Nigerian Legislative session. This new law calls for a N27million naira increase of quarterly allowance of members of the House of Representatives from a former N15million naira per Representative, 80% raise for the legislators. While I know that raises can occur for legislators, this timing seems ludicrous.

Do we recall the removal of the fuel subsidy early this year by the Nigeria Government? Not only did this cause mass pandemonium (which was clearly justified), it is still hampering the livelihood of the poor and middle class. If the government can’t afford to keep the fuel subsidy in place, I think a logical wondering is how can these raises be afforded?
A further commentary regarding this matter is the Nigerian Interdenominational National Day of Prayer and fasting that took place Friday March 16th, 2012. While I believe this is a quality sign of unity, I am wondering if there are other ways in which impact can be made. During the National Day of Prayer the participants were praying for the betterment of Nigeria.

Will the prayers bring the fuel subsidy back? Will the prayers bring a higher level of accountability for government officials? Will the prayers fix Nigeria lack of social infrastructure? Will the prayers stop Nigeria terrorist called Boko Haram?

Unfortunately, I think there are better ways to go about revolutionizing the society to bring about a change. The people of Nigeria need to join forces to let their government officials know that their behavior is not appropriate. It is time to unite and start putting on the pressure. Call, e-mail and visit your legislators, do not cave in to the authorities deploying men and women of the Nigeria Police and Army to break up your peaceful protest for change and accountability of the Nigeria society. As Margaret Mead stated, “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Further reading on related topic: http://www.thenationonlineng.net/2011/index.php/news/40171-house-okays-n38-8bn-jumbo-allowance-for-members.html