February 2, 2023

Akeredolu to Buhari: Allow uniformity in salaries, workers’ allowances

•Says present structural defects stifling nation’s growth

•As RMAFC defends review of remuneration

By Dayo Johnson

GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, yesterday, decried the current practice of fixing salaries and allowances of public officials by the Federal Government, to reflect uniformity across the country. 

Akeredolu said this at the opening of a one-day South-West Zonal Public Hearing on the Review of Remuneration Package for the Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders in the country, by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMFAC.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, insisted that power must devolve to the federating units.

His words: “This practice is unacceptable in a polity which prides itself as federal. The logic of mopping up revenues accruable to states and local governments into a general pool for sharing, following some Federal Government formulas, is anachronistic and retrogressive. 

“Let every State determine the salaries and allowances of its officials. Let the states control their resources and pay taxes to the centre.

“The appropriation of the sources of wealth of various States by agencies of the Federal Government is the fundamental reason for retardation. 

“Our recent pre-independence history and immediately after it depicts the immense potentialities present in the various regions and the manner through which the political leaders availed themselves of them. 

“The level of development attained in all these semi-autonomous political entities points to the possibilities of attaining greatness if the current structure is tinkered with to reflect true federalism.

“It is on record that public officials in the defunct South Western Region were the highest paid in the country. The visionary leaders ensured that the best were recruited to serve the people. 

“Each region determined, to a very great extent, issues bordering on effective governance. Development was, therefore, achievable within a short period. 

“The challenges encountered by the nascent Republic led to crises in different parts of the country, especially the South West and the Middle Belt.

“The country continues to pretend that all is well when it is dithering on the brink of collapse. All patriots must be resolute in challenging the present structural defects which stifle growth. 

“The system which allows a very strong central government and weak dependencies is not capable of development. 

“It will be much more profitable for the Federal Government to dissipate less energy in its pursuit of the misnomer touted as local government autonomy.” 

RMAFC defends review of remuneration

Earlier, the Chairman of RMAFC, Mr. Muhammed Shehu, defended its ongoing efforts at reviewing remuneration packages for political, public and judicial office holders.

Atiku’s govt’ll consider S-East for topmost positions —PCC

By Dapo Akinrefon

THE Atiku/Okowa 

Presidential Campaign Council, PCC, yesterday, assured Nigerians that its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, would run a government of national unity, explaining that the six chief governance positions, including president of the Senate, speaker, House of Representatives; deputy Senate president, deputy speaker, secretary to Government of the Federation, service chiefs and others, will be shared amongst the geopolitical zones. 

Atiku had, during his engagement with the Nigeria Guild of Editors, NGE, in November, last year, hinted that his priority would be to engender national cohesion and peaceful coexistence among the different ethnic nationalities of Nigeria. 

Director General of the PCC of Atiku/Okowa in Anambra State, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, noted that the South East geopolitical zone had been excluded from government since the All Progressives Congress, APC, administration came into office in 2015, stressing that the zone does not occupy any of the six topmost positions in government.

He, however, disclosed that the former Vice President has given assurance that the ‘Category A’ ministerial and extra-ministerial positions would be evenly distributed to the zones.

Noting that this was the case under the PDP for 16 years, the PDP chieftain pointed out that it will lead to inclusion of the people of South East in governance unlike the current situation.

Okonkwo said: “PDP will form a government of national unity. In 1999, we had two presidential candidates from the south, and the PDP won resoundingly well. But we had a government of national unity.

“We had APP, AD ministers, and the country became one. This provided the peace and stability that we wanted. This is what I intend to do. PDP will set up a government of national unity. It is one of the ways to unite this country. Every section or geo-political zone will be carried along in appointments into every sector. We will unify this country.

“People should recall that under the past PDP government, it was like that. During Obasanjo, it was Senate President for South East, during Yar’Adua it was Deputy Senate President, and during Jonathan it was SGF before Buhari came and everything changed. Anyim was the last SGF before Buhari came in.”