Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof Kingsley Moghalu, has asked for a 50 per cent cut in the salaries and allowances of political office holders and members of the National Assembly as a result of the economic hardship in the country.
Moghalu made this appeal while speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday.
The economist noted that, despite the hardship facing Nigeria in the wake of the petroleum subsidy removal, the country’s governance culture encourages extravagance among political leaders and appointees.
He said, “The culture of governance is a very important issue that needs to be addressed and the tone has to be set from the top – from the presidency down. It has to include the National Assembly because a lot of resources go there and they are supposed to be independent of the executive.
“So, they themselves must come on board, examine themselves, and say: ‘Look, even if we have been making this mistake in the past, we cannot continue this way. We have to cut our salaries.
“I recommend a 50% cut for all political office holders and all national legislators. It would make people a little bit more sober. It would make them understand that we are in hard times.”
Moghalu, who noted that some Scandinavian countries where their leaders take mass transits and even ride bicycles to work, argued that Nigeria’s governance culture puts self-service above people-service.
He said, “So the culture of governance – all these excessive demonstrations of power and influence – is a very negative culture because it shows that government is not for service.
“It is for self-aggrandisement. It is for political power for its own sake, not for leadership and service.”
Moghalu berated the political leaders for not replicating what they see in developed countries in Nigeria.
He decried the country’s quest for more loans, saying the monies are not used for the right things.
He said, “So, my comment is simply a reflection of the fact that the political class in Nigeria – more broadly – has prevented the economic progress of the country because of their own self-seeking and rent-seeking behaviour. This is the problem, not borrowing.”