Sen. Shehu Sani (APC-Kaduna Central) says it is the moral responsibility of Nigerian lawmakers to accept salary cut that is aimed at reflecting the country’s economic realities.
Sani told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Monday that it was also the lawmakers’ moral responsibility to assist the less privilege in the society.
“Every parliamentarian has a dilemma. One, he has a moral responsibility to accept the need to reduce the entitlement of parliamentarians in consonance with the economic realities of the country.
“He also has a moral duty to assist the less privilege and the impoverished in our society.
“That is why we have a problem of accepting whether salaries should be reduced or not. So, it is a delicate balance that we are going to move through.
“We were elected to make laws, raise motions and perform oversight functions; but we have a moral responsibility to assist the people that we represent.”
On the frequent recess embarked upon by the lawmakers, the senator explained that the legislative activities of the chamber were guided by a calendar “that says we should go on recess”.
“The legislature has a calendar with which it functions; and when we go on recess, it is because there is a calendar that says we should go on recess.
“And recess means closing the plenary but not closing the work of the National Assembly.
“The committees are functioning and the staff members of the National Assembly are functioning.
“So, people who say we go there for a week or two are simply speaking from the point of ignorance of how the legislature works not only in Nigeria but globally.
“The National Assembly is a democratic institution in position to make laws and to perform oversight functions on the activities of government.
“Now laws are not made every 24 hours like printing newspapers and national dailies; laws pass through processes – readings, scrutiny, public debates and assent.
“Secondly, oversight function happens when you have a government that is fully in circle.
“When you have no ministers, you can only call a permanent secretary and the knowledge of a permanent secretary on how the ministry can be run is limited in terms of authority to decide or not to decide.”
Sani said that the majority of the members of the National Assembly were in full support of the policies and programmes of President Mohammadu Buhari. (NAN)