Ben Murray-Bruce, Chairman of Silverbird Media Group and Senator-elect from Bayelsa State has lend his voice to the call for the incoming administration of General Muhammadu Buhari to drastically reduce the huge overhead expenditure of the Federal Government to save the country’s economy from collapse.
“We must be realistic. If we have to borrow to pay salaries, it is a sign we must cut salaries including for Senators. I’ll lead that charge!,” declared the PDP senator-elect on his twitter handle.
According to Murray-Bruce, the Federal Government must quickly shed off most unwarranted luxurious pecks and expenses such as presidential aircraft fleets, first class travels and convoy of cars enjoyed by political office holders and civil servants for it to make desired progress.
“Every year I pay multi-millions in taxes yet I don’t fly 1st Class. Why should our public servants fly 1st Class at public expense? Left to me, we must sell the Presidential fleet. Public servants, including President must only use made-in-Nigeria Peugeot as official car. A Gov who can’t pay salaries has no moral right to a huge convoy or to guest houses or to a private jet,” he argues.
Other newly elected senators such as Otunba Dino Melaye and Shehu Sani are equally leading crusade for drastic pay cut by political office holders starting with federal legislators.
Dino Melaye, a Senator-elect from Kogi West had earlier vowed to sponsor a campaign that would push for the reduction in the salaries of federal lawmakers to save enough money for national development. “We need to make sacrifices if we are to take this country to the right path of ensuring development,” the lawmaker declared while fielding questions on a television station in Lagos last week.
The former member of the House of Representative had already taken his crusade for a less-expensive legislature to various media programmes and earned plaudits.
Another leading senator-elect clamouring for a less-expensive legislature is Shehu Sani, a human rights activist. The Senator-elect from Kaduna Central, urged the in-coming administration to cut down on unnecessary foreign exchange expenditures that not only affect the national budget but put pressure on the local currency -the Naira. “The need to conserve and put to good use our foreign exchange earnings is much needed now; those sending their children to UK universities to study History or Dubai to study Sociology and those patronising Egyptian clinics for medical treatment need to have a rethink,” Sani said.
By Olisemeka Obeche