Dele Alake, the special adviser to the president on communications and strategy, says President Bola Tinubu has not approved a salary review for political office holders and judicial officers.
In a statement on Thursday, Alake said while it is the constitutional duty of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to review and increase remuneration, news of an increase at this time is fake news.
On Wednesday, Muhammad Shehu, the chairman of RMAFC, said the salaries of politicians, judicial and public office holders will be increased by 114 percent.
He said the move was in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 32(d) of part 1 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria (as amended).
Shehu said the legislature should move quickly on the amendment of relevant laws to pave the way for an upward review of income packages for the aforementioned.
However, the development elicited criticisms from Nigerians, with many interpreting the move to mean that the salaries of politicians have been increased, at a time when ordinary Nigerians have been told to endure economic hardship for a better tomorrow.
Christian Nwachukwu, the spokesperson of RMAFC, denied that the commission had approved the increment of salaries for public office holders, adding that the issue is only under review.
Reacting to the development, Alake said no such proposal has been brought to the president for consideration.
“While we recognise that it is within the constitutional remit of Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to propose and fix salaries and allowances of political office holders and judicial officers, such cannot come to effect until it has equally been considered and approved by the president,” he said.
“However, that this unfounded story gained prominence on social media and in a section of mainstream media, again, brings to the fore the danger fake news poses to society and our national well-being.
“The misinformation was, obviously, contrived to create ill-will for the new administration, slow down the upward momentum and massive goodwill the Tinubu-led administration is currently enjoying among Nigerians as a result of its fast-paced, dynamic and progressive policies.
“It is important to reiterate to journalists, media managers, and members of the public that stories on government activities and policy issues that do not emanate from approved official communication channels should be ignored.”