Deputy Minority leader in Parliament Dominic Nitiwul has warned would-be politicians to ditch any money-making mentality as motivation for entering parliament because the reality is shockingly depressing.
In a Joy FM Super Morning Show Tuesday discussion that left listeners in disbelief, he explained that out of an MP’s GHâ‚µ7,200 salary, about GHâ‚µ3,000 to GHâ‚µ3,500 is used to service a automobile loan.
Parliament arranged that loan with SG-SSB pegged at about 22%, he revealed. In his situation, he spends GHâ‚µ3,400 every month to “pay the cost of my car to do my work”.
The politician went on to say that an MP who spends less than GHâ‚µ1,000 on fuel is not a serious politician. As Bimbilla MP he sheds GHâ‚µ200 of his earnings on a trip to his constituency and back, he said.
The cost of living for an MP, he said is “tough”.
Dominic Nitiwul who entered parliament at a then record age of 25 years in 2002 had joined a Joy FM discussion along with Deputy Head of Joy FM political desk Malik Daabu. A third panelist, Esther Addei is President of Student Council at Ashesi University College, a private university.
Esther Addei [left], Dominic Nitiwul
The discussion centered on how student politicians secure funding for their campaigns. Esther Addei ruled out political funding for electoral campaigns in Ashesi and said her parents helped her raise the money for her campaign chest.
Malik Daabu stressed that the practice is pervasive. Becoming National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) president is profitable for students who have a mind for money from self-seeking politics.
A NUGS president can get a free car, visas, if it wants to do the bidding of government or help out the opposition’s efforts in creating popular discontent, he said.
Dominic Nitiwul partly confirmed Malik Daabu’s analysis but explained that it is in the interest of political parties to neutralize each other’s influence in students unions across the county.
But the discussion took a turn into the perception that politics is a money-making machine. Delving into his background and experience as an MP, Dominic Nitiwul painted a depressing picture.
An aspiring politician who views parliament as a ‘cashcow’ is badly in need of somebody to help him “wake up from that dream”.
“The day you are out of politics…you wake and you don’t have even GHâ‚µ1, you are finished”.
“If people think they are coming to parliament to make money, they are coming to spend the little that they have” he stressed.
In view of the expenses serving as a huge drain on an MP’s salary, he said MPs are going into entrepreneurship.
It is one of the ways of ensuring that an existing MP does not leave in penury. With great reluctance, Nitiwul revealed he is into transport business.
“Everybody knows that” he said. But due to the huge constraint he faces as an MP, his business is managed by trustworthy associates.
As a Management Consultant by training, he explained that he also provides his services to businesses.
“I don’t know whether Hon Nitiwul is telling us the truth” some callers found the doomed financial picture of MPs had to take.
Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline|Edwin Appiah|[email protected]
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