Issa Aremu, Deputy National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, on Thursday said political office holders should publicly declare assets to facilitate easy tracking of ill-gotten wealth.
Mr. Aremu gave the advice in an interview on Thursday in Kaduna.
“The president-elect has promised to publicly declare his assets,” he said. “Let all public officers follow. We can then know who has what and who is having an eye on our commonwealth.
“Let nobody earn more than what is recommended by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission.”
He described Nigeria’s system of governance as most prohibitive with very low dividends for the people.
“Nigeria system of governance is the most prohibitive,” he said. “Worse still is that it delivers low benefits to citizens; poor roads, lack of water, irregular electricity, insecurity and of late scandalous non-sale of petroleum products while government officials remain indifferent.”
Mr. Aremu attributed the situation to greed and mismanagement by public office holders.
“Maybe we should talk of high cost of mis-governance or high cost of no-governance,” he said. “What is responsible is greed not the need of government officials.
“Why would a poor state build houses for two term governors in his state and Abuja and some state assemblies generously awarded governors pension benefits for jobs that are not pensionable.”
He cited the example of the National Assembly whose budget shot up from N15 billion in 2003 to N150 billion in 2015.
“A lot of what they earn are not salaries but self-awards,” he said.
“In the 2003 budget, N15 billion was allocated to the National Assembly and in 2015 they helped themselves to N150 billion. Can you see how office holders underdeveloped Nigeria.”
He insisted that the salaries and allowance of political office holders must be tied to their productivity and made public knowledge.
“It should be linked to their productivity and the income of workers in the country,” he said.
“We should discourage widening income gap between ruling elite and poor working men and women.”