The Presidency on Sunday said President Muhammadu Buhari would not force those who will emerge as his ministers and aides to cut their salaries.
Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had on Friday announced their decision to take only 50 per cent of the salary approved for them by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
The President’s current annual remuneration as approved by RMAFC is put at N14,058,820.00 but he had opted to be earning N7m per year throughout his four-year tenure.
The Vice President’s annual remuneration is N12,126, 290.00 but he had opted to be earning N6m per annum.
The development fuelled speculations that Buhari may force those he would appoint into his cabinet to take the same decision.
But Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said that the decision taken by Buhari and Osinbajo on their salaries was personal to them.
Shehu said the fact that the President and the Vice President decided to follow that path did not make their decision a government policy.
He said if Buhari wanted to make it a government policy for public office holders to cut their salaries, he would issue a directive to that effect through the proper channel.
He said, “The decision taken by the President and Vice President was a voluntary thing.
“The decision is not a government policy, it is personal.
“You will observe that the President did not say they should issue a circular.
“If he wants it to become a government policy, he will issue the directive through a proper channel. He won’t make it compulsory, that is the position for now.”
The RMAFC approved basic salary for ministers, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Head of Service of the Federation and chairmen of constitutional bodies which is put at N2,026,400 per annum.
They are also entitled to 200 per cent of their basic salary (N4,052,800) as accommodation allowance as well as 300 per cent of their basic salary (N6,079,200) as furniture allowance.
These public officials are also entitled to regular allowances such as motor vehicle fueling and maintenance (75 per cent of basic salary): N1,519,800 per annum; personal assistant (25 per cent): N506,600 per annum; domestic staff (75 per cent): N1,519,800; entertainment (45 per cent): N911,880 per annum; utilities (30 per cent): N607,920 per annum; newspapers and periodicals (15 per cent): N303,960; and monitoring for constitutional bodies (20 per cent): N405,280.
Their total annual remuneration is put at N7,801,640.00.