Akwa Ibom announces pay cut for political office holders

The Akwa Ibom State government said it is slashing the salaries of its political appointees by 20 per cent because of the economic downturn in Nigeria.

“In response to the prevailing economic realities of dwindling revenues, caused by the crash in the price of crude oil in the global market, Governor Udom Emmanuel, has painfully directed, the slashing of salaries of all political office holders by 20%,” the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Emmanuel Ekuwem, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The Governor was confronted with an urgent need to take decision on either of two painful options: continue to pay the current salaries for a while and end up being totally unable to pay same subsequently or spread the discomfort (20% cut) sustainably over a period of time pending the return of crude oil price to normalcy in the global market.”

Mr Ekuwem said the slash in salary is temporary and that the government would resume payment of full salary “when this dark cloud passes”.

Akwa Ibom has multinationals like Mobil, an affiliate of the American oil giant, ExxonMobil, drilling oil in the state. And because of its contributions to Nigeria’s oil earnings, Akwa Ibom regularly receives more money from the federation account every month than most of the other 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

This is beside the revenue the state generates internally which has also gone down because of the pandemic.

There are 18 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Akwa Ibom state as of May 18.

Oyo and Kano states are among the states that have slashed the salaries of public officials because of dwindling revenue.

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