Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the last elections, says this is not the time for salary increment for elected politicians and public office holders.
On Tuesday, the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), said the salaries of politicians, judicial and public office holders will be increased by 114 percent.
Muhammad Shehu, RMAFC chairman, said the move was in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 32(d) of part 1 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
Reacting to the proposed increment, Obi, in a Twitter thread on Thursday said the country is struggling with harsh economic realities, adding that the focus should be on cutting the cost of governance and directing the savings towards alleviating poverty in the land.
He called for the immediate reversal of the proposed salary increment, adding that leaders should prioritise what affects the masses and those on the lower strata of society over themselves.
“I learnt with great reservation, the approval of a 114% 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 (RMAFC),” Obi said.
“This is not the appropriate time for such salary increment if it is at all necessary. We are living in a time when an average Nigerian is struggling with many harsh economic realities and with over 130 million Nigerians now living in poverty.
“This is a moment when recent reform measures by the government have increased living costs astronomically.
“One would expect the leaders and public office-holders to focus on cutting the cost of governance, alleviating the sufferings of Nigerians. This moment calls for creative ways of pulling the majority out of poverty.
“The leaders, therefore, should prioritize what affects the masses and those on the lower strata of society over themselves. The sacrifice, at this time in our nation, should be borne by the leaders.
“The increment should be reversed immediately, and the savings should be devoted to fixing education, healthcare and poverty alleviation especially in the remote rural areas.”
Shehu had said the review of the remuneration packages was long overdue.