The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the federal government to reconsider its decision to review salaries, if the move will lead to reduction in the pay of workers.
Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, had said the federal government directed the National Salaries, Incomes & Wages Commission (NSIWC) to review salaries of civil servants and some federal agencies.
“What government hopes to achieve is to redistribute wages equally across board. Let us bring our salary structure within government agencies as close or as equitable and fair,” she had said.
“What we seek to achieve is to create fairness and equity and to reduce cost. With this readjustment, when finally done, workers in the public service will earn a fair and equitable wages.”
But in a statement on Sunday by Kola Ologbondiyan, spokesman of the party, the PDP said it had received information that the review will lead to a salary cut, and advised against it.
“The PDP alerts that intelligence at its disposal indicates that leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) recommended the widely condemned move to slash workers’ meagre salaries, despite the current excruciating economic hardship which the APC administration had plunged our nation in the last six years,” Ologbondiyan said.
“The PDP describes as wicked and completely unacceptable that APC leaders could go after workers’ salaries even after their party, the APC, had endorsed the increase in the cost of fuel, electricity and other tariffs, leading to the steeply rise in the cost of food and other essential commodities beyond the reach of millions of Nigerians.
“Our party rejects the baseless argument that the move to cut salaries is necessitated by dwindling revenue to finance the national budget.
“Rather than impose more hardship on our workers, the APC and its administration should realign the budget by removing their padded figures as well as end the exposed looting in the integrated payment system, where trillion of naira are being siphoned through non-existent workers and overheads.”
The PDP added that a salary cut will also “trigger an immediate negative spiral effect, particularly with the escalated cases of terrorism and other social vices, confronting our nation”.
“Our party counsels the Buhari administration to leave workers salary alone and seek help by getting more capable hands to manage our economy and create wealth instead of plunging Nigerians into more hardship,” he added.