New York - Three Moroccan ministers have decided to forgo their official salaries and serve their country without the State’s remuneration.
New York – Three Moroccan ministers have decided to forgo their official salaries and serve their country without the State’s remuneration.
Moulay Hafid Elalamy Minister of Industry, Trade & New Technologies, Aziz Akhannouch, Minister of Agriculture, and Mustafa Ramid, Minister of Justice and Liberties, have declined the monetary compensation that they are entitled to in their roles, according to daily Les Eco.
Ministers Elalamy and Akhannouch notified the Ministry of Economy and Finance that they would not receive any salary for their ministerial duties since the beginning of their terms.
Minister Ramid, on the other hand, donates his full salary to the Ministry of Justice and Liberties’ internal fund, which is intended to finance the department’ activities and festivities, the same source noted.
Moulay Hafid Elalamy, 55, born in Marrakech, is an investor who heads Saham Group, which operates CNIA Saada, one of Morocco’s biggest insurance companies. He is number 34 on U.S. Forbes magazine list of “2015 Africa’s 50 Richest” people, with a net worth of US $620 million.
Aziz Akhannouch, 54, born in Tafraout, is the majority owner of Akwa Group, a multibillion-dollar Moroccan conglomerate with interests in petroleum, gas and chemicals, as well as media, real estate, and hotels.
Akhannouch and his family ranked 18 on the Forbes’ “2015 Africa’s 50 Richest” people, with a net worth of US $1.4 billion. He is also number 2 on “Morocco’s Billionaires” list.
Mustafa Ramid, 56, born in Sidi Bennuor, is a lawyer and human rights activist from the Justice and Development Party (PJD).
Heated debate over pensions and salaries of Ministers and MPs
Salaries and pensions of Moroccan Parliament Members and Ministers have been a topic of debate in the recent weeks.
Charafat Afilal, Minister Delegate in Charge of Water to the Minister of Energy said on a TV program on Al-Aoula, two weeks ago, that the pensions of representatives, which ranges between MAD 5,000 to MAD 8,000 per month, are just “two Francs” (peanuts) and that discussing the issue is a “populist matter.”
The Minister’s comment sparked debate among Moroccan social media users, especially on Facebook, who are now asking the government to reduce the salaries and privileges of both ministers and parliamentarians.
Opponents of the controversial pensions argue that ministers and representatives chose to work for their terms of office and they do not deserve to benefit from a retirement pension for the rest of their lives.
Under current law, Moroccan ministers and MP’s receive a pension for their entire lives after only one term of service.