The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said the proposed pay raise for public office holders such as President Bola Tinubu and National Assembly members was unacceptable and unjustifiable.
Recall that the Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Muhammed Shehu, had said the salaries of politicians, judicial and public office holders would be increased by 114 per cent.
Speaking with newsmen on Sunday, Shehu clarified that the review had been postponed due to economic challenges, adding that the salary of President Tinubu is less than N1.5 million while ministers earn less than N1 million.
But in a chat with Vanguard on Sunday evening, NLC President, Joe Ajaero, stated that it was insensitive for RMAFC to increase the public officers’ salaries in a country where everybody was crying over the high cost of governance.
The NLC President stated that every action and inaction of politicians has continued to justify the argument that they seek political positions for self-aggrandizement.
He said: “High cost of governance was one of the issues we raised at our June 5, 2023 meeting with government, to the extent that one of the sub-committees set up on that day was on the cost of governance.
“Unfortunately, the government has messed up the whole thing. We have been complaining about the jumbo pay and other unjustifiable allowances the Federal Executive Council, FEC, members are earning to no avail.
“We are talking about ministers, their several aides and hangers-on. The same thing is applicable to the members of the National Assembly whose salaries and allowances cannot be justified under any circumstances, let alone a struggling economy like ours.
“We have continued to question the reason politicians seek political positions in this country. Every of their action and inaction has continued to justify the argument that they seek political positions for self-aggrandizement.
”For them, political office is not about service, it is not about the people of Nigeria and Nigeria. It is about them and nobody else. We have been asking for wage awards and other measures to cushion the effects of the petrol subsidy removal but the government has been paying deaf ears to our demands.
”How can you justify a jumbo pay for ministers with their uncountable aides as well as members of the National Assembly and numerous aides and hangers-on? We cannot accept this. When it comes to the workers and other Nigerians, there is no money, the country is broke and the country cannot afford subsidies on petrol. It is unacceptable and unjustifiable.”