The National Human Rights Commission says the Nigerian President, Vice President and Governors have no powers, under the law, to cut their salaries.
A professor of law and the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Professor Chidi Odinkalu, told Channels Television on Sunday that the right to cut salaries rests with the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
“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,” he said.
Professor Odinkalu further stressed that there was no law that empowered the President to cut his salary.
President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had last week said they would only take 50 per cent of their salaries, as part of their commitment to cutting cost of governance.
The decision was welcomed by most Nigerian, as they believed it was a good way for the President to begin the fulfilment of his promise to cut cost.
But Mr Odinkalu suggested that for the President, Vice President and Governors to cut their salaries, there should be a review of the constitution to empower 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.
“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,” he warned.