The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari not to succumb to pressure to slash salaries of civil servants as part of measures to reduce the cost of governance.
“Any attempt by the new government to reduce the salaries of workers will be viewed as an invitation for war by the labour movement”, the ASCSN said.
A statement issued on Friday in Abuja by the President of ASCSN, who also doubles as President of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama, and Secretary-General, Alade Lawal, said it was criminal for anybody or group of persons to contemplate cutting down the salaries of civil servants.
He said civil servants “are already being underpaid in a country where the government has reneged on all its responsibilities to the citizenry”.
The ASCSN said, “Any attempt by the new government to reduce the salaries of workers will be viewed as an invitation for war by the labour movement. As we speak, many states owe civil servants bulk of monthly salaries and other rightful entitlements and yet, these workers are expected to come to work by magic, feed their families, stay healthy, pay rent and children school fees.
“It must be recognised that civil servants pay has lost its value since the last increment done in 2010. The subsidy removal, devaluation of the naira and the high rate of infrastructural decay has continued to rub innocent civil servants of the value of their money despite being paid peanuts.
“What is being contemplated as pay cut for political office holders cannot be extended to civil servants because you cannot compare the two pay structures. While a Director in the civil service goes home with less than N353,996.94 monthly, a member of the National Assembly collects close to $181,973.75 or 40m monthly”.
The amount, the association said, is made up of basic salary and allowances for hardship, constituency, newspaper, wardrobe, accommodation, recess, utilities, domestic staff, entertainment, personal assistant, leave, vehicle maintenance, car and severance package of 300 per cent of basic salary.
ASCSN said, “There is therefore no basis to compare the two. While a political office holder can make do with 75 per cent reduction in emolument, a one per cent cut in the salaries of civil servants will just end up sending them to their untimely death through unwarranted hardships and miseries”.
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