The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2019, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has lambasted President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for collecting 50 percent of their annual basic salary as hardship allowance despite feeding and living at public expense.
He noted that despite working to keep the government moving, workers do not collect any hardship allowance but are still expected to live on unrealistic minimum wage.
The former vice president made this known in a statement through his media office in reaction to reports that the presidency had denied adopting the N30,000 new minimum wage proposed by the tripartite negotiation committee.
Atiku described workers as the “goose that lays the golden egg that top members of this government are enjoying to the detriment of those laying the egg”.
Atiku added that approbation and reprobation “is characteristic of the Buhari administration and that it is evidence of lack of leadership at the very top that is putting our economy in peril.”
The statement read in part, “Just two weeks ago, two of the world’s largest banks, HSBC and UBS, pulled out of Nigeria citing lack of policy stability as their reason.
“This same reason was given by Procter and Gamble when they pulled out last year. In the span of the three years that this administration has been in office, more than 500 companies have pulled out of Nigeria for similar reasons. Nigeria under President Buhari has become synonymous with policy flip flopping.
“A government is only as reliable as its word and if its word is not reliable then nothing else about the government will be stable. This is why Nigeria suffered from a recession under this administration and it’s right now at risk of another recession.
“At the risk of repeating ourselves, we urge the Buhari administration to note that Nigerian workers are the goose that lays the golden egg that top members of this government are enjoying to the detriment of those laying the egg.
“We are aware that both President Buhari and Vice-President Osinbajo, despite living and feeding at the public expense, collect a hardship allowance of 50 per cent of their annual basic salaries, whereas, the long-suffering Nigerian workers, who are the main sufferers of the hardship caused by the incompetence of this administration, do not have any hardship allowance and are expected to live on the unliveable minimum wage of the Buhari government.”
Accusing the present administration of paying workers “starvation wage”, Atiku said the Buhari administration ought to cover its face in shame for allowing Nigeria to become the world headquarters for extreme poverty as designated by the World Poverty Clock and the World Economic Forum.
He added that this was a testament to how badly Buhari and Osinbajo had treated the workforce under it.
“We can only change this by paying our workers a living wage as opposed to the starvation wages now paid to them by the Buhari administration,” the presidential candidate added.