Lawmaker warns colleagues against increment of allowances of public officers

Onofiok Luke, member of the House of Representatives has warned his colleagues not to consider increment of allowances of public officers.

The lawmaker stated this on Thursday, during a debate on a motion to address the working conditions of judicial officers.

Mr Luke Had prayed that the House should urge the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to review the salaries of judicial officers.

He said that in light of the inflation and poor exchange rate, the government should upwardly review the remuneration package of the judicial officers.

But the motion was met with opposition from lawmakers who asked that salaries of all public officials should be increased.

The Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, stated that the salaries of the judicial officials should not be increased in isolation.

“My amendments will be that the RMAFC reviews and looks into the entirety of those scheduled bodies under their supervision. They have the responsibility to review their salaries. That is my amendment,” Mr Wase moved.

He added that his amendment covers “other agencies and the khadis, the grand khadis, the ministers, governors and others. It covers all that.”

Exercising his right of reply, Mr Luke said increasing the allowance of others has “danger” because people will see it as lawmakers trying to increase their salaries.

“Any attempt of us now to begin to push an agenda for our own review would be seen as politicians wanting to increase their salaries, which would have covered what we are seeking to do, which is asking for the increase of salaries of judicial offices,” he said.

Despite the warning, the amendment was taken by the House, but Mr Luke opted to step down the bill for further consultation.

It would be recalled that about 14 justices of the Supreme Court had written a letter to the Chief Justice of the Federation, Ibrahim Tanko, protesting poor working conditions.

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