December 6, 2015

‎Ministers insist, ‘Buhari slashed our salaries’

‎Ministers insist,  ‘Buhari slashed our salaries’

By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – ‎Despite denying reports that the he slashed the salaries and other entitlements of members of the Federal Executive Council, some ministers have insisted that the President Muhammadu Buhari indeed ordered a downward review of their package.

A letter reportedly written on behalf of the president by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, David Babachir Lawal‎ had stated that while the substantive minister will earn N2,026,400 million( Annual Basic Salary($8,514.285), the Minister of State is to get N1.8million($7,563.025) per annum.

According to the letter, other highlights of the conditions include: Estacode Allowance($900 per diem); Duty Tour Allowance(N35,000); Utilities Allowance(Telephone/ Electricity/ Water)–30% of Annual Basic Salary (N607,920); Domestic Staff Allowance(75% -((N1,519,800) of Annual Basic Salary; Medical Facilities (in accordance with NHIS Policy); Special Assistant (To be provided in kind); Security (To be provided in kind); Air Travel (By Business Class); Newspaper Allowance (15% of Annual Basic Salary-N303,960).

Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu had immediately denied reports alleging that Mr Buhari single-handedly ordered a reduction in the salaries and other emoluments payable to federal ministers and other political appointees.

He said since the packages were fixed by law, there is no way he could have altered them‎ with a fiat.

“President Buhari has not tampered with the salaries and allowances of Federal Ministers”, he had said, adding that the financial package of the misnisters remain as they have been prescribed by the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission under the law as passed in 2008.

Although, on assumption of office, President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo had slashed their pay by 50 percent, the president did promise that he would not force any of his appointees to tow the same path.

However, two ministers who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity said the president’s denial of his own directives as conveyed by the SGF smacks of political double-speak.

Faulting their new package, one of them said the system has been so bastardized that for any minister to succeed, he may have to engage consultants‎ to carry out certain crucial tasks.