President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have announced their decision to take only 50 per cent of the salaries approved for them by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
With this Buhari and Osinbajo will earn half of what former President Goodluck Jonathan and former Vice President Namadi Sambo, earned.
Their decision was contained in a statement made available to journalists on Friday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.
The President’s current annual remuneration as approved by RMAFC is put at N14,058,820.00.
With this development, Buhari will be earning N7m per year throughout his four-year tenure.
Shehu said the President’s decision to cut his salary by half had been conveyed to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Friday by the Permanent Secretary of the State House, Mr. Nebolisa Emodi.
“I write to forward the completed IPPIS registration form of Mr. President and to draw your kind attention to Mr. President’s directive that only 50 per cent of his salary be paid to him,” the presidential spokesman quoted Emodi as writing in the letter with reference number PRES/81/SGF/17.
Shehu said Osinbajo had similarly given up half of his official remuneration.
He however did not disclose the reason behind the decision in his statement.
But in a telephone interview with our correspondent, Shehu said Buhari, by his action, was sending a clear message to Nigerians on the need to make sacrifice for national development.
He said having done that for himself, the President is expecting other political office holders and indeed all Nigerians to borrow a leaf from him.
Shehu said, “That voluntary action of the President is pregnant with meaning.
“It is a message of sacrifice for national development.
“Since the President has done this for himself, he is expecting that others will join him in making sacrifices for their fatherland.”
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, commended the slash in the salaries by Buhari and Osinbajo, adding that the decision was a display of leadership by example.
Ahmed, who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, said he would consider measures to reduce the cost of governance in the state.
Akorede said, “While Governor Ahmed commends the President and the vice-president’s admirable display of leadership by example through cuts in their salaries, he is looking at other sustainable ways of cutting the cost of governance and freeing up funds for more pro-people programmes.”
But the Kogi State Governor, Capt Idris Wada (retd), said the decision on whether he would cut his salary or not had not been taken.
His Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Mr. Jacob Edi, said the governor supported genuine measures to cut down the cost of governance, adding that the state had already implemented measures that would plug government revenue leakages.
The Enugu State Governor,
Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has yet to disclose any intention to slash his salary.
Ugwuanyi’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Louis Amoke, said on Friday night that while the governor had not disclosed plans to slash his salary, he had directed that no political office holder or political appointee should be paid until the workers have received their wages.
One of the aides to the Edo State Governor, who did not want to be mentioned, said that both the governor and his deputy had made their own sacrifices by denying themselves the payment of allowances and overheads, which he said, accounted for the bulk of financial entitlements to serving public office holders.
The Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has yet to make categorical statement on whether he will slash his own salary or not.
When contacted, he simply said through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, “We have no comment.”
The Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje, had announced a pay cut for all political office holders in the state.
The Special Adviser (Media) to the governor, Baba Dantiye told journalists, “He has announced this (pay cut) for all political office holders. In fact, we are the first to announce it followed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.”
El-Rufai had announced a 50 per cent cut in his salary and that of his deputy on assumption of office.
The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, Mr. Eni Akinsola, said the incumbent administration was more interested in other effective ways of managing the state’s resources rather than slashing salaries.
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, said that the slashing of the salaries of the President and the Vice-President by 50 per cent was only symbolic, saying it would not save much.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Dooba Ibraheem, the governor explained that his salary is not much to begin with. He said he would rather prefer to cut down on things that would save reasonable amount of money.
He said, “To his shock, the governor learnt that one trip can consume up to N1.5m per day. This can add up to a lot of money in one month.”
Last week, President Buhari directed the release of about N414 billion as bailout to states to pay the backlog of salaries they were owing civil servants.
Before electing to slash his salary by 50 per cent, President Buhari had earlier rejected a proposal from the Aso Rock bureaucracy to approve the purchase of five customised armoured Mercedes Benz S-600 (V222) cars at the cost of N400 million.
Instead of buying new cars, the president, it was gathered said he would stick to the vehicles he inherited from the former President Jonathan administration. -Nigerianeye