COVID-19: Akwa Ibom slashes pay for political office holders

The Government of Akwa Ibom State has announced it is slashing the salaries of its political appointees by 20 per cent because of the economic downturn in Nigeria.

In a statement made public by the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Emmanuel Ekuwem, the state pointed at the continuous drop in the revenue of the State occasioned by the drop in oil prices as the reason for the decision.

The statement reads in part, “In response to the prevailing economic realities of dwindling revenues, caused by the crash in the price of crude oil in the global market, Governor Udom Emmanuel, has painfully directed, the slashing of salaries of all political office holders by 20%,”.

Mr Ekuwem emphasized pay cut is temporary and promised that the government would resume payment of full salary “when this dark cloud passes”.

Akwa Ibom is an oil producing state with multinational oil companies like Mobil, an affiliate of the American oil giant, ExxonMobil, drilling oil in the state. Akwa Ibom also derivation funds from the federation account every month. This excludes the revenue the state generates internally which has also gone down because of the pandemic.

At the moment, there are only 18 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Akwa Ibom state as of May 18.

Oyo and Kano states are among the states that have slashed the salaries of public officials because of dwindling revenue.

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