President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice Yemi Osinbajo don’t have the powers under the law to cut their own salaries by half, the National Human Rights Commission says.
Professor Chidi Odinkalu, the chairman of the commission, told Channels Television on July 12 that the power to cut salaries belongs to the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
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He said: “This idea of Governors, President or Vice President slashing their salaries, I think it is alluring and a lot of people will welcome it.
“But I will caution that there is going to be a process here, the salaries of the President, Vice President and Governors are not set by them and they actually don’t have the powers under the law to cut their own salaries.
“That is done by the Revenue mobilisation, allocation and fiscal commission.”
Professor of law emphasized that there was no law that allowed the Nigerian leader to cut his salary.
Odinkalu said that for the president, vice president and governors there should be a review of the constitution to authorize them to take such decisions.
“What will happen is that they can collect their salaries and decide to donate 50 per cent of that back to the state. We need a system to get that money and be able to use it for public purpose,” he added.
“Let us not because of populism do something that is not authorised by law.
“A democratic system is a system of law and we do not elect the President and Governors to do what is unlawful.”
It would be recalled that Buhari and Osinbajo had last week said they would only take 50% of their salaries, as part of their commitment to cutting cost of governance.
The decision was greeted by most Nigerian, as they considered it was a good way for the President to commence the implementation of his promise to cut cost of governance.