Why TUC opposes pay rise for political office holders

Isola Moses

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has warned against an upward review in the earnings of political office holders, saying it will lead to poverty and increase violence in Nigeria.

Reports indicate that the TUC notes such an review is unnecessary at a time the country is battling with local and foreign debts as well as grappling with a lot of economic challenges.

The TUC, in a statement Tuesday, January 28, jointly signed by its Quadri Olaleye President, and Musa-Lawal Ozigi, its Secretary General, in Abuja, FCT, described the proposed review as a “conspiracy that must not be allowed to stand because of the dire consequences it will further have on the economy, people and our collective image.”

ConsumerConnect recalls that the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Monday, January 27, had said that it plans to undertake a review of the remuneration of political office holders in the country.

Such a review could lead to an upward increase or decrease in the remuneration of political office holders in the country, it stated.

TUC, in the statement however, required a drastic reduction in the cost of governance in the country.

“We read with consternation the plan by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to review the remuneration of political office holders at a time the local and foreign debt is overwhelming and the country grappling with a lot of economic issues.

“This is a conspiracy that must not be allowed to stand because of the dire consequences it will further have on the economy, people and our collective image,” TUC said.

According to the Union, “Does it mean the Federal Government increased the Value Added Tax (VAT) to raise money to pay the politicians?

“Some countries in Africa now have a unicameral legislature because their former system was eating deep into the national treasury.”

TUC maintains that it could not think along that line, that after all, “we have a National Assembly that you could hardly see all the members seated at every session.

“It is the same thing at the state level, yet their absence has never disturbed any session. Imagine a Councillor with O’Level result earns higher than a University Professor?

“It is only in Nigeria that ex-governors who served two terms will retire to the senate yet earn pension from the state. It is only in Nigeria that ex-governors that are jailed for corruption collect salaries and other allowances. This is preposterous and it makes mockery of our system.

The statement adds: “We are demanding that the cost of governance be drastically reduced. We do not need 496 lawmakers. Governors do not need over 500 aides. It is too expensive to maintain.

“The salaries and allowances of these public office holders in Nigeria is part of the cause of the economic hardship in Nigeria.”

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