Thursday, December 9, 2010

Who Let The Dog Out II?

When Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor of the Central bank brought to our attention, the fact that the National Assembly was responsible for 25% of the national budget. I published an article titled Who Let The Dogs Out. The article addressed the gulf between the rich and the poor and reflected on my view on "A Promise is comfort to a fool.." which focused on Labours last strike which should have gone a step further to ask for a downward review of the "Maximum Wage".

I suspected that the coming days were likely to usher in something out of the ordinary. The captions on tabloids were not disappointing. The Nations "Jumbo Pay of Lawmakers" by Dapo Fafowora caught my eyes. It highlights most of my views concerning the outrageous and unholy figures our lawmakers earn. In his own words,
This huge pay is damaging to the overall health of the national economy and is in the long run, unsustainable... it simply does not make any economic sense to commit such vast amounts to administrative costs, when there is a crying need to invest more in such critical; sectors of the economy as education, health, and infrastructure.
Dapo chronicled the total emoluments of the 1st republic Nigerian politicians. I was stunned to learn that the chief justice of the federation earn more than the Prime Minister. Like me, he seems to be calling for a reduction in the total emoluments of our lawmakers, citing the 1st republicans. All in all, he opined that representative democracy is expensive, and therefore needs a review.

While I agree with all he had to say, I disagree with his reference to revert to the old. eGovernance for me is the only way out. Call me an optomist or T.D. (Technological Determinist: one who thinks that technology solves all problems) but only a more refined form of direct democracy can bring us out of this strangle hold.

As usual, who will bell the cat?

All is not lost... when I look around me, I see changes in many areas. Even the politicians are now tinkering with eVoting. They know that it is inevitable, while the PDP seems to be averse to internal democracy - and pokes at eVoting with a long stick, the Action Congress on the other hand embraces. ACN is already using electronic forms of democracy, I wasn't surprised to learn that droves of PDP middle class are joining up. The citizens are not left out either - Across the nation, several student unions now conduct their own elections on electronic platforms. Soon, all of us will be so attuned to it that we will reject all other forms.

Back to the matter at hand. Will the lawmakers reduce their remuneration? or will this also be swept under the carpet like 2 previous bills by Yar' Adua to cut all public officers earnings by 20%? Only time will tell. I know the lawmakers are all campaigning for 2011, and will come back with a vengeance. SLS Beware!


  1. Like the NAS lashed out following the outcry from Sanusi's revelation, we need to let all the naija dogs out ...not just the NAS. Maybe u should start naija wikiLeaks ...there's too many dogs dragging on naija !

  2. Hmm....a refined form of anything requires thought and only humans are gifted thus....eGovernance might sound nice idealistically speaking but need I remind you that it is still down to GIGO(garbage in & garbage out)....if the wrong man fin...ds his way behind the joystick....yawa don set.....just like how Jeb bush helped big bros W to rig in Florida against the democrats in Gods own country through cannot rule out the quality of a mans spirit when considering things like ethics,governace,leadership and more recently fiscal will not teach you sustainance,care,tolerance and most of all empathy towards others.......the quality of spirit in our politicians still leaves more to be desired......

  3. Controls as to who is behind the joystick is one thing - fine tuning the idea one step at a time. But starting is the most important. I got my 1st ATM card in Scotland in 1988, it too almost 2 decades to introduce same in Naija. Scotland ya...rd first used finger prints to identify criminals in the 18th century. Yet in Nigeria - where ppl rig elections with their finger prints, but we pretend we can not single them out and name them. My brother, it is only the cameras on the streets of London that deter most criminals there - they know too well that the authorities will react. It is not until we apply some sort of technology to crime prevention, judiciary, electoral commission, immigration, etc than the idiots that have Nigeria in a strangle hold will let up.