Niger State Government has explained its decision to review downward, salaries of all categories of political officer holders by 50 percent with effect from this month, saying it was informed by the present economic reality in the country.
The state government in a circular signed by the secretary to the state government, SSG, on Monday announced the reduction of salaries of all categories of political office holders with effect from March.
Those affected in this new policy are personal assistants, special assistants, senior special assistants and other appointees.
Speaking to journalists on this development in Minna, yesterday, the Permanent Secretary (Political) to the SSG, Alhaji Danladi Buhari, said the new policy was informed by the prevailing economic situation in the country.
Buhari disclosed that with the reduction, those political appointees who hitherto collected between N50,000 and N65,000 will now be entitled to between N25,000 and N30,000, pointing out that the policy has come to stay.
He added that in addition to reducing the cost of governance, the present administration wants to make political appointment less attractive so that people will not just sit down at home and be collecting salary without doing anything.
He admitted that though this decision has not gone down well with the people as there has been complains from various quota, the government, he said has no hidden agenda, stressing that “this is not the first time that salaries of political appointees are being reviewed downward in the state.
“In view of the current economic reality, the government cannot continue with the present wage bill of political office holders because what we are getting now as revenue is not up to what we used to get so there is need to cut down expenditure including salaries of this category of appointees.”
He, however, said any appointee that is not comfortable with the new policy is free to resign, adding that “we expect them to make sacrifices in view of the current situation we found ourselves.”
Buhari, however, dismissed the insinuation that the decision to reduce the salaries of political office holders was to enable government meet up with the wage bill of civil servants.