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NASU cautions government against reduction of workers’ salaries 

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The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has cautioned the Federal Government against reducing salaries, allowances and emoluments of workers. 
 
The General Secretary of the union, Peters Adeyemi, said the announcement of the plan by the Minister of Finance, Ahmed Zainab, is insensitive, provocative and inciting. 
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Indeed, Mrs Ahmed was reported to have said this on Tuesday, 4th May at a ‘National policy dialogue on corruption and cost of governance in Nigeria which was organized by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja. 
   
She was quoted to have said that the review of salaries of civil servants and some federal agencies is part of measures to reduce the cost of governance. 
   
She was further quoted to have said that the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) had been directed to review salaries of civil servants and some Federal agencies.
     
While NASU lauded President Buhari for resisting the urge to sack workers and has continued to pay salaries despite the massive effects of COVID-19 on the economy, it stated that the latest move to cut workers’ salaries would be a victory for those who continue to be insensitive to the plight of Nigerian workers.  
 
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“Unfortunately, rather than leaving workers to remain in their current state of abject poverty, they have decided to provoke and incite them against the same government they are working for.
   
“No government official who wishes Nigerian workers well and is interested in the peace of the country will advise on this line of policy direction at this time when workers are still struggling with the effect of COVID-19 pandemic. A time when the cost of living is extremely high as a result of hyperinflation, the extreme cost of food items as well as increases in electricity tariffs and the cost of Premium Motor Spirit,” it said. 
   
NASU pointed out that the principal factors responsible for bloated recurrent expenditure are the salaries and allowances of political officeholders.

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NASU further argued that the lies dubious political office holders sell to the uninformed public are that the government is spending a huge sum of its revenue on civil servants’ salaries and wages, whereas, salaries and wages of civil servants are not the sole components of the recurrent expenditure of the government. 
     
“Recurrent expenditure includes all payments other than for capital assets, including salaries and wages of civil servants, bogus salaries and allowances of political office holders, their travels both foreign and domestic, interest repayments on foreign and domestic loans, bogus subsidies and other overheads of government. If the government is sincerely interested in reducing the cost of governance, she should be bold and sincere enough to throw the searchlight at political office holders and members of the Legislative arm of government,” it said. 
   
NASU pleaded with President Buhari to have a rethink of the planned policy direction of his government at a time when for the same economic reasons, a country like the United States of America is considering raising her minimum pay to 15 dollars an hour, adding that to continue on this line of policy will only provoke Nigerian workers and incite them towards negative actions that may lead to unintended outcomes.

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