Nigerian governors urged to sacrifice their huge pay to salvage the economy

Nigerian governors urged to sacrifice their huge pay to salvage the economy

In the bid to save the country from imminent economic collapse, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre has called on the state governors to sacrifice their jumbo salaries and allowances rather than their one-off retirement package proposal for workers.

The CISLAC said this on Monday, August 15, 2022, in a statement issued by its Executive Director, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, in Abuja.

Nigerian governors proposed their own solutions to the economic meltdown: Nigerian governors advised the federal government to offer federal civil servants who are older than 50 years a one-off retirement package to exit the service, as part of coordinated efforts to instill fiscal discipline and prevent the nation from imminent economic collapse.

The governors made the proposal at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in July.

CISLAC’s response to the governors’ proposal: CISLAC described the governor’s recent proposal to the Federal Government as “unrealistic and lopsided.”

Rafsanjani, who is also the Head, of the Transparency International Chapter in Nigeria, said CISLAC received the proposed measure to reduce the cost of governance as a deceitful approach that may amplify existing socio-economic burden, suffering, and inequalities among common Nigerians.

He said: “The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has been following with keen interest, the recent unrealistic and lopsided proposals to the Federal Government by the Nigerian Governors, under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), to offer Federal Civil Servants above 50 years of age, a one-off retirement package to exit the Service.

“While the such proposal was tendered in view of reducing the overbearing cost of governance that has hitherto rendered Nigeria financially incapacitated to adequately finance the ailing critical sector of the economy, we cannot conceal the fact that it mirrors lopsidedness, insincerity and lack of readiness by all levels of government to holistically address the contending issues backpedaling country’s socio-economic development.”

Where Nigerian governments fail: He, however, drew the attention of all levels of government to various neglected issues that he said had aggravated the high cost of governance and socio-economic inequalities in the country.

Rafsanjani said these include the systemic mismanagement of the nation’s treasury and institutionalized spending of whopping sums on irrelevant activities that continued unabated at national and sub-national levels.

He added: “We maintain our advocacy against unjustified numerous jumbo salaries, allowances, benefits, and public paid expenses enjoyed by the governors, their deputies, former speakers and their deputies throughout and after their tenures.

“This includes the states that erected private buildings as retirement packages for the public office holders as well as former governors who enjoy double payments from Senatorial positions.

“We are also worried by the increasing clamours for lifetime pensions and benefits accrued to public office holders across the states, constituting a major component of the rising cost of governance.”

How the future is already being ruined: The Executive Director also said that poor transparency and accountability are paving way for the inherent incompetence and abuse of public funds amounting to trillions of naira by successive administrations at all levels.

“As 85% of reform efforts have failed since independence, we are more worried by the dreaded impact of mismanagement and undue political interests that will continue to frustrate the success of socio-economic reforms; and without pragmatic measures could cost up to 37% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) by 2030, as reported by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC),” he added.

Rafsanjani also called for the removal of fuel subsidy, which he said had caused more harm than good to the country’s economy.

He said: “We are concerned by the needless fuel subsidy regime, which serves as a major contributory challenge to the high cost of governance in Nigeria, with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) estimating an average of N120 billion monthly paid by the government on petrol subsidy.

“Petrol subsidy payments have reportedly increased by 349.42 percent from N350 billion in 2019 to N1.573 trillion in 2021, while the National Assembly approved the sum of N4 trillion for petrol subsidies in 2022.”

What is Fuel Subsidy: Fuel subsidy means that a fraction of the price that consumers are supposed to pay to enjoy the use of petroleum products is paid by the government so as to ease the price burden.

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