Compared to the monstrous money paid to the present-day lawmakers of the National Assembly to the tune of N1.5 million as salaries for each senator and N1.3 million for each member of the House of Representatives, then average office running cost, N13 million for a senator and a member of the House of Representatives N8 million, one former senator Salisu Matori who served in the National Assembly between 1999 and 2003 representing Bauchi south constituency in Bauchi state has expressed how they still committed their very best in loving the country and putting best in development despite being paid meagre salary of N13,000 monthly.
The 80-year-old Senator Matori said the main drive for himself and his colleagues was not the money by love for Nigeria. The lawmaker said that he and his colleagues did not receive as much salaries and allowances as the present members of the National Assembly.
Speaking on his dreams and expectations for Nigeria, Matori said he had interesting experiences while serving Nigeria as a lawmaker and that reflected in his service to the nation. He said that lawmakers at the time, particularly those in the Red Chambers were eager to contribute their best towards bringing development to Nigeria and her people.
Matori said the main drive for himself and his colleagues was love for Nigeria, their fatherland as everyone thought about the country first. He said:
“In other words, the main focus of each and every one of us at that time was, to the best of my knowledge, ‘Nigeria first’ and not any other consideration. For example, when you look at the benefits aspects of it, when we came in, our salary was just N13,000 per month and we did not get any other allowances, apart from allowances for particular items.”
Not worried by the small salary Speaking on the situation with Nigeria at the time, Matori said lawmakers during his tenure were never discouraged from giving their best to Nigerians and the country.
He said: “On the other hand, the electorate, their expectations and urge for material things were less than what we have today. You see, our society has become more or less polarized today by the quest for the acquisition of material things and this is very unfortunate.”