By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to workers welfare is tested, proven and unmatched, despite criticism by the opposition People Democratic Party (PDP).
In a statement issued yesterday by the National Secretary of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of APC, John James Akpanudoedehe, the party which was replying to the statement by the PDP that the Federal government is planning to slash workers salaries, said the party is proud of its credentials as a truly Progressive and people centered political party.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is up to its comical tales on what it terms “intelligence at its disposal” to slash the salaries of workers in the country. Clearly only the PDP believes its tales.
“We are proud of our credentials as a truly progressive and people-centred political party.
“From the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s several social investment programmes targeted at citizens living on the margin; implementation of the improved minimum wage; the Economic Sustainability Plan to the mass housing programme benefitting thousands, this government’s commitment to the welfare of Nigerian workers is tested, proven and unmatched. We will continue to match words with actions in line with our electoral promises”, APC said in the statement.
It will be recalled that the opposition PDP, while alleging that the Federal government led by the APC wants to slash workers salaries, said “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemns in its entirely, the moves by the Buhari-led administration to slash the salaries of workers in the country.”
In a statement issued by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said “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.
“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.
“Moreover, the APC and its administration should return the over N15 trillion stolen by APC leaders from various agencies of government and channel same to governance.
“It is distasteful that the APC and the Buhari administration are contemplating a salary cut in a country with a paltry N30,000 monthly minimum wage, an amount that can barely run a small family for less than a week in the face of escalated cost of staple food and essential commodities.
“The PDP also finds it appalling that at a time leaders of other countries are seeking ways to provide economic stimulus and incentives for their citizens, the APC and the Buhari Presidency are rather seeking to cut salaries in a country with frightening 33.3 percent unemployment rate; where over 60 million citizens have lost their jobs with over 40 million businesses closed within six years of the APC administration.