The Presidency denied yesterday that it had tampered with the remuneration of the newly appointed ministers. According to additional information received last night, the ministers’ package is same with what obtained in the Jonathan Administration.
Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the President “has not tampered with the salaries and allowances of Federal Ministers.
“They remain as they have been prescribed by the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission under a law passed in 2008.
“The President and the Vice President have voluntarily offered a 50 percent salary cut. This is voluntary and does not apply to Ministers and other political appointees.
“Reports to the effect that the President has imposed an austere package on the ministers are unknown to us. The administration has not tampered with the salaries of ministers and that remain as prescribed under the law.”
Documents obtained last night showed that the Buhari ministers are earning same as ministers in the Yar’Adua and Jonathan governments.
A former minister said: “The package for the new ministers is not different from what we got while in office based on the 2009 Amendment by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC). You can see from my own copy too.
“The difference however with Buhari ‘s administration is that while it is strictly adhering to the package, there were variations while we were in power.
“For example, some former ministers flew First Class; recruited many Special Assistants, sought medical service abroad; and earned estacode more than officially approved.”
Another ex-Minister said: “It was good that Nigerians have the opportunity to know what the ministers would earn. The reality is that the salaries and allowances of ministers are nothing to write home about at all. Our package is between 16th and 17th in the world.
“Yet, people assume that once you are in government, you are in luxury. The package is insignificant.”
Ex-President Umaru Yar’Adua had in 2007 mandated RMAFC to review the Remuneration Package for political, Public and Judicial Office Holders to save cost.
RMAFC came up with a review in 2009.