SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has said there are plans to review the wages of all political office holders in the country.
“The last holistic wage review took place in 2011 and a new one is being planned,” Ngige told members of Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) during a visit to his office in Abuja on Tuesday.
“What is a governor doing with hazard allowance? What hazard when the state is feeding him and his family? What is a governor doing with constituency allowance? The whole state is his constituency.
“These are what will be holistically reviewed.”
Ngige said there was a need to review and streamline the wages and allowances given to political service holders, and the high wages earned by workers in certain government organisations.
The minister said the “government has put up the Presidential Committee on Salaries headed by the Minister of Finance and co-chaired by me” to review the wages and allowances.
He said the committee will look at the wage structure of the public service after the ‘consequential adjustment’ being done presently.
Ngige also stated that the committee was put in place to look at the different wage structures.
“There are people who earn 300 percent of what others earn and they have the same degree.
We may have people in NNPC, FIRS, Customs and others with third-class (degrees) earning 300 percent more than the man with first-class in the ministry.”
The minister noted that there are 12 wage structures in Nigeria and the government will “beam its searchlight” on them.
“Revenue Mobilisation will also look at what is given to political officeholders.
In his reaction, NULGE president Ibrahim Khaleel raised concerns over the non-involvement of the union members in any of Nigeria’s standing minimum wage negotiating councils.
“if NULGE cannot be made a member of any of the negotiating councils, another council should be created for the local government employees as recommended,” Khaleel said.
“We believe we are having a lot of gaps in terms of our role of engagement with the government and our employers and this is very good machinery that we are praying and agitating that we will get it under your leadership, ” he said.
He appealed to the federal government to address the issues.