A Nigerian lawmaker representing Afikpo-North/Afikpo-South Federal Constituency of Ebonyi State at the National Assembly, Abuja, has opened up on why his salary and allowance don't take him home because of family responsibilities.
While speaking in an exclusive interview with Punch newspaper, a member of the Federal House of Representatives member for Afikpo-North/Afikpo-South Federal Constituency of Ebonyi State, Igariwey Iduma-Enwo, speaks on family, lifestyle career and many more.
Here are the excerpts we culled from the chat;
You are in your 50s. How do you keep up with your schedules?
Biologically, I am ageing and, every minute, every second, with every breath I draw, I age as a result of it. It’s a natural phenomenon. What things do I do? I eat well, but I don’t pile up so much food in my system. I watch my weight and I try to do some exercise.
What is your best food?
My best meal remains eba and soup. What makes the difference is the quantity of (eba) that I eat. I used to indulge much in it when I was younger. These days I go for that soup that I find quite irresistible, which most of the times is something that “draws.” Ordinarily, I am not picky; I eat virtually everything. I like to experiment with lots of food.
What is your ideal way of relaxing?
I am a thorough family man; my friends know this about me. I spend much time in my house and with my family. I don’t travel much. There is the economic aspect of travelling, which is quite expensive. It is not easy for us too; people will not believe it, but it is true. I watch TV a lot and I can cap it up by just having my wife and children around me.
Lawmakers too can’t afford to travel? People assume that you have a lot of money and can afford a lavish lifestyle.
The truth of the matter is that if I am left with my salary at my age of over 50, I don’t need too many things in my life. I am not thinking of building houses or buying cars. So, with my salary, I will manage with my children. Already, some of them are graduating. But, I must service a constituency that looks up to me. When you put all of that together, you will find out that at end of the month, you are constantly asking your colleagues whether they have received alerts. I am not speaking for just myself. I have a good number of friends here. I know that it is a very big pain surviving the last few days of every month.
Are you saying your jumbo pay comes late?
You wouldn’t believe it that today is the 12th and members only got paid yesterday. Members were relieved that they got their salary. How much is even the salary? My salary is slightly above N600,000. That is what they pay me for 30 days.
That is minus allowances, you mean?
Any other allowance is already tied to outgoing expenses. You have stationery to buy, do repairs on equipment in this office etc. So, you will find out that what I really rely on is the salary that doesn’t take me home.
A man who stays at home with his family most of the time hardly has time for other women, right?
I don’t want to speak for myself. I am known to be a thorough family man. It is not that women are not beautiful out there. The thing is that they come with a lot of problems — baggage. The baggage content is too much for a normal person who wants to live a normal life. I won’t say I don’t see women who are beautiful. You see them but you can’t go and kidnap them. Are you ready to do the needful? A responsible person must live within his income.