Frontline Media design and Innovation center, Civic Media Lab has launched a portal to help Nigerians put a context to the exorbitant salaries Nigerian senators pay themselves.
Despite the fact that 87 million Nigerians live in extreme poverty and unemployment is at record levels, the Nigeria public officials are the best remunerated in the world.
With an annual salary of $450,000, the Nigerian lawmaker earns the highest salary in the world. Even though it is a clear aberration to pay people such an amount in a nation where the minimum wage is under $100 a month, this practice continues despite several cries by Nigerians for it to stop.
According to Oluwaseun Akinfolarin, Director of Civic Media Lab, the civic tool was created to show the magnanimity of the funds accruable to these lawmakers and help Nigerians fully contextualize and visualize the magnitude of the loss incurred by taxpayers.
"The tool allows users to make cuts from the several payments made by our senators and see what the cuts they have made can achieve in other sectors", he said.
“In recent news, it was reported that the four hundred and sixty-nine lawmakers who will be inaugurated in June will earn N4.68bn as a welcome package.
All these monies can easily take care of other sectors of the economy that needs critical attention but it seems the authorities do not care, and Nigerians do not see the full picture of what they are losing to this small number," Akinfolarin disclosed.
"With this tool, we hope Nigerians can make several deductions and will hopefully be able to engage their representatives and demand more from them," he added.
The Senators pay portal can be accessed via http://senate.civicmedialab.ng.
It was developed by the civic media lab, as part of its effort to help promote civic participation in policy formulation to ensure good governance.