Ali Ndume, lawmaker representing Borno South in the Nigerian Senate, has asked the Nigerian Government to cut workers salaries in order to cope with economic loses from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nigerian senators are some of the highest paid in the world, earning about N13.5m as allowance alone in addition to monthly salaries of more than $2,000. The National minimum wage is however, pegged at N30,000, an amount many states of the Federation have found difficult to pay.
Ndume made the comment in an interview with Channels TV.
He said since workers had been grounded due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there was no need for pay.
He said, “Government should critically look at the personnel and recurrent expenditure which consumes about 70 per cent of the budget. Money should be pumped into capital.
“People should make sacrifices. This is the time to look at issues critically. But as I said, When I talk like this – and make my opinion – people look at it and call me all sorts of names. But I try to express myself.
“I think there should be more sacrifice, especially on the personnel side. How can you sustain the same personnel and overhead costs when even the work that you are doing… most people don’t go to the office now, and they are being paid fully for the month.
“Is there any justification for that? If you cannot work because of the pandemic, then you should be given palliatives and be paid less.”
Saharareporters, New York