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THE OWNERS OF NIGERIA AND THEIR SALARIES

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The owners of Nigeria are about to have their salaries increased as a recognition for their ‘praiseworthy’ works which include among others: distribution of poverty to every nook and cranny of Nigeria, eradication of justice and everything that has to do with it, killing of jobs and entrenchment of unemployment, enabling bandits and kidnappers to run a parallel government, bringing the educational and health sectors to their knees and placing them on oxygen with no hope of resuscitation. You can add more. But who are these owners of Nigeria? I will come back to that soon, though we all know them.

I know it is difficult to make a difference between a civil servant and a slave in Nigeria. The wage of a slave, if at all he enjoys any wage, is what can manageably keep his spinal cord erect to continue the dehumanizing labour the next day. Slave owners in the era of slavery could be said to be generous compare to governments in Nigeria. At least they pay wages to slaves such that could hold their spinal cord (erect) for continuous production of wealth to the advantage of their masters. And slaves, in most cases, do not incur debt.

In Nigeria, however, salaries paid to civil servants are laughably ridiculous. They are ridiculous because they are too meagre to be called salaries; laughable because Nigeria is too endowed, if not over endowed, to pay peanuts—meant for kiddies’ popcorn—as salaries. Salaries paid to Nigerian civil servants have rendered them spineless—gutless as a result of grinding poverty. Worse than slaves, many civil servants could not earn enough to feed their families and are highly indebted. They do not work to succeed but work to survive!
Civil servants in Nigeria are hapless, hopeless, and helpless. Many of my friends and neighbours who are civil servants—in their thirties and early forties—already have their hair and beard or stubble turned grey.

The main cause is stress induced by excessive thinking and impoverished salaries handed down to them by their employer (government). Note that salaries are meant to be paid at, or before, the end of every month. In Nigeria, salaries are paid by the owners of Nigeria whenever they feel like paying. They may choose not to pay at all. And if you sue your employer (government) to court, it is like reporting government to government—a waste of time. In Nigeria, government has become a Leviathan that must be dreaded.

Many Nigerians who are not in the employ of the Nigerian government as civil servants wrongfully think that every civil servant (called government worker in local parlance) is rich. It is unknown to them that working as a civil servant in Nigeria is tantamount to lifetime regret and a smooth trajectory to poverty. Though, few of these civil servants survive through what we call side hustle, many live a life of regret and disappointment.

For those who do not know, a graduate who works as civil servant in Nigeria gets a take home salary of thirty (30) to seventy (70) thousand naira monthly. That is an average of 50k. It depends on where you serve—local, state or federal level. It is very unfortunate that having spent many years from school starting age, say, age six (6) to around age thirty (30) to get a university degree, one ends up with miserable salary despite being a government worker. We can safely say: government in Nigeria employs to impoverish and to render its employees futureless.

What I painted above presents a grotesque picture of government jobs in Nigeria. But this is not always the case. It is a different case when you work as public, political or judicial officials. In that capacity, it takes only salaries of few months to be superlatively rich in the midst of Nigeria’s excruciating poverty. In case you don’t know, these public, political and judicial officials are the real owners of Nigeria.
Unlike the university lecturers and other professionals in Nigeria who have to struggle for salary increment, these owners of Nigeria—especially the political officials— pay themselves what they like. In fact, they have to be reminded that their salaries are due for increment. Why? Because what they get as allowances is huge and unquantifiable. Their allowances alone, if channelled towards the Country’s development, can transform Nigeria to a global tourist centre and catapult it into the league of world leading economies. Though I don’t have the breakdown of what a Nigerian Senator earns, former Sen. Shehu Sani still has the details. I also leave what the president and others earn to your imagination.

Just few days ago, the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) said it has concluded arrangement to review the remuneration of the president, vice president, ministers, SGF, HoS, chairmen and members of constitutional bodies, special advisers and speech writers. According to the chairman of the commission, special advisers and speech writers earn N7,091,493 p.a. Mind you, this is minus the mouth-watering entitled allowances like estacode, medical, furniture, accommodation etc. That is roughly a monthly salary of N591,000 which is the equivalent of a combined salary of a professor and a senior lecturer in Nigerian universities including all allowances (if any). Speech writer!? Yes, speech writer. Our President hardly addresses the public, one wonders what these speech writers write.

Last month, the House of Representatives Committee on Finance during an interactive session with the Director General of National Pension Commission PenCom discovered that a staffer of PenCom earns N2.4 million monthly. This is the salary of six Nigerian professors. She (the DG) did not dispute the figure. What she disputed was that the unbelievable monthly salary is not basic. She argued that it includes all allowances and training. I wish civil servants who earn between thirty to seventy thousand naira monthly have other allowances and training added to their salaries to make it at least N2 million monthly. The stupid and infantile explanation given was that PenCom staff should be paid competitive salary to ensure that they do not compromise in discharging their duty.

All is not well with Nigeria. With this kind of huge salary discrepancies between the owners of Nigeria and the rest of us who are owned by them, do we need any prophet to prophesy that there is no hope for the masses? Nigerians who could not endure the ruthlessness, mercilessness, and emotionlessness of this regime are already japa(ing). Yet, this does not budge the owners of Nigeria an inch. They own Nigeria and Nigerians; no doubt. However, their ownership will probably expire by May 2023. History will always remember them for their callousness.

MY PLEA TO THE OWNERS OF NIGERIA
Before your salaries are inordinately increased, put yourselves in the shoes of the masses whom you force to survive on meagre monthly salary. Yes, you own Nigerians and treat us like slaves, know that you are also slaves to the Lord of the world who is incapable of doing injustice. One of His major attributes is Justice. None of you can escape standing before Him to give account for your deeds. May God help all suffering, dying, and helpless masses whose only hope is their Creator. O God! Save us from the jackboot of these wicked owners who claim to own us when indeed You are our actual Owner—the Merciful.

Abdulkadir Salaudeen
salahuddeenabdulkadir@gmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/abdulkadir.salaudeen.3

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