Presidency Response to Salary Increase for Politicians and Judges.

Presidency Response to Salary Increase for Politicians and Judges.
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The official response from the Presidency regarding the reported salary increase of the president, other political office holders, and judicial officers in the country indicate that no approval has been granted by President Bola Tinubu-led administration. The Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has criticized the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation, and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) for recommending a 114 percent raise in the salaries of elected politicians, including the president, vice president, governors, and lawmakers.

Presidency

On Wednesday, the RMAFC provided justification for its proposal to increase the remuneration of political office holders in the country. The commission suggested a 114 percent salary increase for elected public officials, including President Bola Tinubu, Vice President Senator Kashim Shettima, federal and state legislators, governors, and judicial officers. However, this recommendation requires approval from the president and other cabinet members, followed by submission of an executive bill to the National Assembly for passage.

Nevertheless, the Presidency issued a statement yesterday through Mr. Dele Alake, the Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communications, and Strategy, dismissing the report as fake news circulated by unscrupulous individuals with the intention of undermining the new government. According to the statement, while the RMAFC has the authority to propose and determine salaries and allowances for political office holders and judicial officers, such proposals only become effective after receiving presidential approval.

The general public, including the media, is urged to disregard any information that does not originate from official government communication channels. In a release titled “No Presidential Approval for Salary Increase for Political Office Holders and Judicial Officers,” it was emphatically stated: “We express our unequivocal stance that President Bola Tinubu has not approved any salary increase, nor has any such proposal been presented to him for consideration.

Although we acknowledge the constitutional responsibility of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation, and Fiscal Commission to propose and determine salaries and allowances for political office holders and judicial officers, these proposals cannot take effect until they have been duly considered and approved by the President. We would like to remind journalists, media managers, and the public that reports on government activities and policy matters originating from unofficial sources should be disregarded. We call upon media practitioners to ensure accurate reportage by verifying their stories, as responsible journalism demands.”

Meanwhile, Obi criticized the RMAFC’s recommended salary hike, deeming it insensitive, particularly considering the country’s ongoing struggle with minimum wage and the fact that over 133 million Nigerians live in extreme poverty. In a tweet, Obi emphasized that leaders and public officeholders should instead focus on reducing the cost of governance and alleviating the suffering of Nigerians.

“I received the news of the approval for a 114 percent increase in the salaries of elected politicians, including the president, vice president, governors, lawmakers, as well as judicial and public office holders by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation, and Fiscal Commission with great concern. This is not the appropriate time for such a salary increment if it is necessary at all. We are currently facing harsh economic realities, with the average Nigerian struggling, and more than 130 million Nigerians living in poverty. This is a time when recent government reforms have significantly increased the cost of living.

“At this moment, we should expect leaders and public officeholders to concentrate on reducing the cost of governance and easing the burdens faced by Nigerians. This is a time that calls for innovative measures to uplift the majority out of poverty. As Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar immortalized, ‘What touches us ourselves shall be last served.’

“Therefore, the leaders should prioritize the welfare of the masses and those in the lower socioeconomic strata over their own interests. At this critical juncture in our nation, the burden should be borne by the leaders. The salary increment should be promptly reversed, and the saved funds should be dedicated to improving education, healthcare, and poverty alleviation, especially in remote rural areas.”

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