Senator Ali Ndume is the former Senate leader, who currently serves as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army in the 9th National Assembly.
The Senator also represents the Borno South senatorial district on Sunday, while reacting to the views of the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo and Former Governor of the Central Bank, Sanusi Mohammed, during a webinar organised by the Emmanuel Chapel that was themed, “Economic stability beyond COVID-19”, on Friday, Senator Ndume said that that the lawmakers are earning luxury wages, while the workers are being paid peanuts.
He said that Osinbajo and Sanusi had vindicated his position on the high cost of running a presidential democracy, which he insisted was no longer realistic.
Sanusi had said on the occasion of the webinar program that the governance structure in Nigeria had set the country up for bankruptcy, and he asked Vice President Osibanjo on what the current regime would do differently to address the perpetual problem.
Osibanjo in his reply, said that there is no denying the truth that the government are dealing with a large and expensive government. “There is no question that we are dealing with large and expensive government, but as you know, given the current constitutional structure, those who would have to vote to reduce (the size of) government, especially to become part-time legislators, are the very legislators themselves,” the Vice President responded.
Senator Ndume then said that the country has a budget of 10trillion Naira, and only 30 percent of that budget will be going to the majority, while 70 percent of it will be spent on a few minority. He decried that the current system Nigeria is practicing is not fair socially or morally.
In his words, Senator Ndume said; “In the current system, workers are not being paid living wages, whereas a privileged few are earning luxury wages. The National Assembly members, including me, for instance, are paid luxury wages.
How can we live comfortably when only a few of us are living a life of luxury while the majority are living in abject poverty? The 30,000 Naira minimum wage is too small, it can make workers engage in corruption in order to survive.”
The Senator also said that the current cost of governance is too expensive, and that the change from the Presidential Democracy system to the parliamentary system might prove difficult to achieve because, the current National Assembly that would have to undertake that process my not be willing to as a result of the present system being in their own favour.