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Why Buhari’s planned salary cut should be rejected, by PDP

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Buhari. Photo: TWITTER/NIGERIAGOV

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned moves by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to slash the salaries of workers in the country.

The opposition party alleged that “leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) recommended the widely condemned move to slash workers’ meagre salaries despite the current excruciating economic hardship into which the APC administration had plunged our nation in the last six years.”

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The Federal Government had last week proposed salary cuts for workers as a way of reducing the high cost of governance in the country.

Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, said the Federal Government was working to reduce the high cost of governance by doing away with unnecessary expenditures.

Disclosing this at the policy dialogue on corruption and cost of governance in Nigeria organised by Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja last Tuesday, Ahmed said President Buhari had directed National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission to review the salaries of civil servants as well as the number of federal agencies.

Ahmed urged all government agencies to come together to trim the cost amid the country’s dwindling revenue.

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She said the government also intended to remove some superfluous items from the budget in order to cut the cost of governance in the country.

But the PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, said it was wicked and completely unacceptable that APC leaders could go after workers’ salaries even after their party, the APC, had endorsed the increase in the cost of fuel, electricity and other tariffs, leading to the steeply rise in the cost of food and other essential commodities beyond the reach of millions of Nigerians.

“Our party rejects the baseless argument that the move to cut salaries is necessitated by dwindling revenue to finance the national budget.

“Rather than impose more hardship on our workers, the APC and its administration should realign the budget by removing their padded figures, as well as end the exposed looting in the integrated payment system, where trillions of naira are being siphoned through non-existent workers and overheads.

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“Moreover, the APC and its administration should return the over N15 trillion stolen by APC leaders from various agencies of government and channel the same to governance,” PDP stated.

According to the PDP, “ it is distasteful that the APC and the Buhari administration are contemplating a salary cut in a country with a paltry N30,000 monthly minimum wage, an amount that can barely run a small family for less than a week in the face of escalated cost of staple food and essential commodities.”

The opposition party said it also found it appalling that at a time leaders of other countries are seeking ways to provide economic stimulus and incentives for their citizens, the APC and the Buhari Presidency are rather seeking to cut salaries in a country with frightening 33.3 percent unemployment rate; where over 60 million citizens have lost their jobs with over 40 million businesses closed within six years of the APC administration.

PDP cautioned the APC and its administration against the proposed salary cut, saying it would trigger an immediate negative spiral effect, particularly with the escalated cases of terrorism and other social vices, confronting our nation.

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