A member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Abiodun Tobun, says contrary to the opinions of many Nigerians, the salaries of Nigerian lawmakers are not outrageous.
Tobun, Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Works and Infrastructure, spoke with newsmen on Thursday at the launching of a book entitled; “Comparative Legislatures’’.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the book was written by a staff of the Assembly, Mr Ebenezer Olaosebikan.
Tobun, an All Progressives Congress (APC) member who represents Epe I in the house, said that the salaries of Nigerian lawmakers were equal to those of permanent secretaries in the ministries.
He also said the pension being proposed for Speakers and Deputy Speakers in the state was not out of place.
According to him, the Nigerian law states that if someone has worked for 10 years and has attained the age of 45, he is entitled to pension.
I do not see why that of lawmakers, who have serve for many years, should be different.”
On the activities of the House, Tobun said that it had adopted best practices with the best procedures.
“We always welcome new ideas from members. You can come up with motions and resolutions on whatever you discover and the majority carries the day.
“We have done a lot in the state House of Assembly over the years,” he said.
The lawmaker recommended the book that was launched to lovers of literature, saying it provided information on comparative analysis of legislatures across the world.
He said that the material would afford the people the opportunity of learning about global events as they occurred.
The author of the book, Olaosebikan, said in an interview that the book was a good material to show the minds of policy makers and would let the people know more about good governance.
He said that the essence of any government was to secure lives and property, as well as ensure the well-being of the people.
According to him, legislative practices cannot be divorced from democracy.
It (the book) is meant for us to see how we (Nigerians) can benefit from advanced countries and what they can benefit from us.
“Every system adopts a system that is suitable to its socio-economic make-up. There is also a need for comparison,” Olaosebikan said.
On how he was able to gather information about the remuneration of lawmakers across the world and other issues raised in the book, Olaosebikan said that he did a lot of research.
According to him, he went into the archives of many countries such as the U.S. and Canada, and got information about Nigeria and other countries.
He said that Nigeria had to look at the average income being earned by other workers in the country in comparison to what the lawmakers were earning.
You need to compare those of the legislature and other professionals. So, you cannot really say if that of one country is higher than that of another.
“It is not for me to judge; the book is there for everybody to read, it is not judgmental, it is a highly researched book.
“So, the people can now say if a country’s legislators are earning more than others.
“We need to look at what legislators are earning elsewhere and if it is commensurate with what others in the medical, media or other professions are earning,” he said.
Earlier in his address, the Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, congratulated the writer for coming up with the book and contributing to knowledge.
Obasa, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Wasiu Sanni- Eshinlokun, said that the topic of the book was relevant.
He said that people would know about the legislature whenever they read the book.
Reviewing the book, Mr Babatunde Ogala said that the author wrote the book in simple and concise English Language.
He said that the author traversed the continent to conduct research for the book.