By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned, in its entirely, the moves by the Buhari-led administration to slash the salaries of workers in the country.
The PDP specifically said that it rejects the baseless argument that the move to cut salaries is necessitated by dwindling revenue to finance the national budget.
The party said this I. A statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja.
The main opposition party disclosed that intelligence at its disposal indicated 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 administration had plunged our nation in the last six years.
The PDP described 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.
According to the statement by Ologbondiyan, “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.
“Our party cautions the APC and its administration against the proposed salary cut as it will trigger an immediate negative spiral effect, particularly with the escalated cases of terrorism and other social vices, confronting our nation.
“It is distressing that in the last six years and particularly in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the APC and Buhari Presidency have failed to take any decisive steps to stimulate to economy and promote production.
“Instead, the APC and its administration had engaged in mindless external borrowings, bulk of which had also been looted by APC leaders and their cronies in government.
“Now that they have borrowed from every corner of the world, the APC and its administration are now turning to salaries of our workers”, it said.
The party thus counseled the Buhari administration to leave workers salary alone and seek help by getting more capable hands to manage the nation’s economy and create wealth instead of plunging Nigerians into more hardship.