By Gabriel Enogholase
BENINâ€”EDO State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole yesterday in Benin said that the state government would not accept the downward review of the remuneration package of political office, public and judicial office holders, saying that he has serious reservations about it.
According to the governor who spoke while receiving Commissioners of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) from the South-South geo-political region led by Chief Tom Uloko, the Commission made a wrong decision thinking that political office holders across the country earns the same pay.
His words: â€œFor me, while I appreciate all the efforts that have gone into this, in Edo State, I cannot promise that we benefitÂ from this because there are lots of legal and other practical issues involved. I believe here that we know what our resources can support and that is why I am not earning what my colleagues in other states are earning. I did not promise that we will act on this recommendationâ€.
â€œLet me be very frank; I think that the issue of emolument, personnel compensation on the people is not at the heart of the problem of Nigeria . I think it should be seen as a token, something to indicate that even at the leadership level, we all recognize the need to make sacrificeâ€.
â€œNo one should pretend that it is the level of emolument that is at the heart of our financial crisis. We can borrow from other countries on how they s topped to deal with the crisis.Â I think it is not to reduce what people earn, the reason is to manage more productivity and more efficiently against the system even at the level of the cost of running the public serviceâ€.
â€œIn my view, the real cost is not the salary that is paid to people on the table, that is, meaning the whole question of personnel expenditure which is only a fraction. The actual cost lies in the overhead cost, how often we traveled, where we go to, the cost of doing business, ect. For me, these are at the heart of our problemsâ€
â€œAndÂ Â we will get out of this crisis not when we earn zero pay, we will get out of the crisis when we manage prudently, we are more imaginative in the options that we settled for and we try to appreciate that this economy cannot walk if we do not pay attention to merit and do not reward efforts and all things that engage the citizens t create the environment they need for people to do business â€œ
Continuing the governor said that he did not need the law to ask him to make sacrifice neither did he need the RAMFC to make laws that would reduce downwards what he earns as his enumerations.
Reading the address of the Chairman of the RMAFC, the Commissioner representing Edo state in the commission, Chief Tom Uloko said that the review of the allowances of political, public c and judicial office holders was considered purely on its own merit before concluding on whether or not to review it downwards retain it, or cancel such allowances altogether.
â€œFor example, in the case of the governor and deputy governor, the severance gratuity of 300 percent was cancelled because they are entitled to pension and gratuity by virtue of the provisions of section 124(5) of the 1999 constitutionâ€.