To kick off the weekend, President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo announced they would accept only half of the salaries approved for them by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, a move some have criticized in the past as playing to the gallery
Buhari’s current annual remuneration as approved by RMAFC is put at only N14,058,820 meaning he would take home just a little over N7 million per annum for the next four years.
On a popular radio programme, Front Page Analysis on Classic 97.3 fm, 60-year-old veteran media practitioner, Jimi Disu, had said two weeks ago that he was not impressed by politicians (starting with Kaduna State Governor Nasir el Rufai) who got into office and declared they were cutting their pay by half. He’d rather have them collect their constitutional salaries in full and remove their hands from the public treasury as well as refrain from wasteful spending.
But it would seem like Buhari is bent on showing leadership by example with high moral standards. Just the day before his salary cut was made public, he had rejected an offer by his government to buy him N400 million armoured Mercedes Benz cars – five, insisting that he would never approve wastage of scarce resources. Instead, he said the official cars he inherited from his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, would do for him.
Shehu said the President’s decision to cut his salary by half had been conveyed to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Friday by the Permanent Secretary of the State House, Mr. Nebolisa Emodi.
In reality, neither Buhari nor Osinbajo or el Rufai and other politicians in top public offices would be saving Nigeria much money in pay cuts. Their foreign trips and internal movements alone gulp millions in logistics, while their allowances by far exceed their entire salaries. Also it is highly unlikely that these men would ever have a need to spend a kobo of their salaries on anything, no matter how intimate, while they are in office. It is all budgeted for by the State.
Quite a few governors, both of the ruling party, APC, and the main opposition party PDP have indicated that they are not impressed by the high level salary cuts. Some said they have no business cutting their own salaries.