BORNO South Senatorial District’s lawmaker Senator Ali Ndume has courted controversy by suggesting that Nigerian civil servants who no longer go to work due to the Covid-19 pandemic should be subject to salary reductions.
Like every other nation, Nigerian imposed restrictions on movement in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which included limiting the number of people who went to work. In a development certain to attract widespread condemnation, Senator Ndume said that civil servants who have to work from home should not be paid their full wages.
According to Senator Ndume despite the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Nigerian state and federal governments are spending more to sustain personnel and non-personnel costs. He added that those who are not going to work now should be given palliatives and paid less.
Senator Ndume said: “The government should critically look at the recurrent and personnel expenditure which consumes about 70% of the budget. More should be pumped into capital and people should make sacrifices because this is the time to look at issues critically.
“I think there should be more sacrifice, especially on the personnel side. How can you sustain the same personnel and overhead costs when even the work they are doing, most people don’t go to the office now and they are being paid fully for the month.
“Is there any justification for that? If you can’t work because of the pandemic, then you should be given palliatives and be paid less.”
Nigerian senators are among the highest paid in the world, with each of them earning ₦162m ($450,000) annually in allowances and ₦9m ($25,000) as basic salary. They also get a raft of other perks, like new cars, despite the fact that over half of the Nigerian population lives on less than $2 a day.