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Tinubu yet to approve 114% salary increment for public office holders

PRESIDENT Bola Tinubu is yet to approve the proposed 114 per cent increment in the remuneration of public office holders, one month after the plan generated controversy.

The spokesperson of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) Christian Nwachukwu, told The ICIR that the proposed increment has not been approved.

When asked if the Commission has met again with the President on the matter, after the controversy that trailed reports on the increment, Nwachukwu said, “There is nothing to say about it for now.”


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The ICIR reported, in June, how RMAFC announced a 114 per cent increase in the remunerations of President Bola Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima and other political and judicial office holders during a report presentation in Kebbi State. 

The Commission later claimed that the approval had not been authorised by the President, noting that review of public officers’ salaries was last conducted in 2007.

However, mixed reactions trailed announcement which came barely weeks after the President announced the removal of fuel subsidy that skyrocketed the prices of basic goods and services, especially transportation.

In a swift reaction reported by The ICIR, the Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy to the President, Dele Aleke, also refuted the claim by the Commission saying the president has not approved the 114 per cent increment.

“The misinformation was, obviously, contrived to create an ill will for the new administration, slow down the upward momentum and massive goodwill the Tinubu-led administration is currently enjoying among Nigerians as a result of its fast-paced, dynamic and progressive policies,” he said.

A policy expert, Chimezie Anajama, told The ICIR that, while the Commission only carried out its mandate, the timing of the information was wrong as Nigerians were still adjusting to the harsh effects of the new policies introduced by the government. 

She said, “A lot of policy reforms implemented recently are neo-liberal. On one hand, these policy reforms such as the removal of fuel subsidy and the signing of the student loan bill into an Act are commendable, but on the other hand, the fuel subsidy removal also brought a high level of suffering to Nigerians. Citizens are also paying more taxes as some of the new taxes and their rates are very regressive because the wealthy are taxed less compared to the poor.”




     

     

    Offering palliatives not enough 

    In another development, the government also announced plans to give N8000 cash palliatives to vulnerable Nigerians but after criticism, ordered a review. The ICIR captured how feasible this palliative scheme would be.

    Meanwhile, Tinubu, in his recent address, listed out plans to ease the hardship of Nigerians as they adjust to the impact of fuel subsidy removal. 

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    Anajama said that the government needs to be comprehensive in finding the right approach to alleviating the current economic challenges faced by all Nigerians.

    “It is not just by offering palliatives but yielding to progressive taxation where the wealthy are taxed more against what we have currently where the poor bear heavy tax burdens, and also creating a conducive environment for the private sector to thrive to suck in the huge population of unemployed Nigerians which will improve economic growth overall”, she added.

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    Kehinde Ogunyale tells stories by using data to hold power into account. You can send him a mail at [email protected] or Twitter: Prof_KennyJames

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