The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has opposed the demand by public and political officeholders in the country for an upward review of their remuneration package by the federal government.
The Kano NLC chairman, Kabiru Minjibir, said this while speaking on behalf of the NLC chairman of the zone at the zonal public hearing on the review of the remuneration package for public, political and judicial office holders on Wednesday in Kano.
Mr Minjibir said that such a review was not necessary at a time when the country was grappling with a lot of economic challenges.
“The economic challenges confronting us today are unprecedented and it will be unacceptable for political officeholders to demand pay rise while Nigerians are battling with inflation,” he said.
He noted that no amount of increase in naira terms would be good enough if the government did not control the rising inflation and high cost of goods in the country.
The NLC chairman urged the federal government to suspend the upward review of the remuneration package for now.
According to him, the recent survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicates that 133 million Nigerians are multidimensionally poor.
“What we demand from them is an act of sacrifice by accepting salary or wage slash or reduction in solidarity with the people of Nigeria,” he explained.
He also noted that the NLC supported wage review of judges.
Mr Minjibir said the commission should ensure that for every remuneration, there was justification and benchmarks must reflect equity.
The chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission, Mohammad Shehu, said President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the commission to review the remuneration package.
According to him, the Federal Executive Council deliberated on the other remuneration package for political office holders and directed the commission to ensure adequate review of the packages.
Mr Shehu explained that the public hearing was done simultaneously at Kano, Jos, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Enugu, and South-West in Akure.
“We are here to engage all the stakeholders from various states of the North-West, labour leaders, judicial officers, government officials and legislatures so that they could give us their own views before the commission’s final stand on this,” he said.
He further added that such a review could lead to an upward increase or decrease in the remuneration of political office holders in the country
The chairman noted that the commission had already set up a remuneration and monetisation committee, which was spearheading the programme.