No lawmaker is earning N1m a month – RMAFC
ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – Indications emerged on Tuesday that the salaries of public offices holders across the the arms of government – executive, judiciary and National Assembly – would be slashed.
This is because of the dwindling price of oil in the international market.
The chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mr. Elias Mbam, gave indication to State House correspondents shortly after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari of the commission’s activities inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mbam said RMAFC was reviewing the subsisting renumeration packages to reflect the socio-economic realities of today.
He hinted that a new draft of renumeration package for public office holders including members of the National Assembly would be ready in September.
He said, “Presently, we are currently reviewing the subsisting renumeration packages and it is going to reflect the socio-economic realities of today.
“We expect that before the end of next month, it will be ready.
“But it will go through a process, it is not something that you will just say ‘yes or no.’
“It will go through a process and it should be obvious to you the economic realities of the day and it is going to reflect that.”
The RMAFC chairman said that the review would affect all cadres of public office holders at all arms of government including the executive, legislature and the judiciary.
According to him, the review became necessary because many government agencies, states and local governments have not been able to pay salaries as a result of the sharp drop in oil price.
However, contrary to public perception, Mbam said no Nigerian lawmaker is earning up to N1 million a month.
He regretted that despite spirited efforts through advertisements and constant media interaction, the wrong information on lawmakers emoluments are constantly being reported.
He advised Nigerians to visit it’s website and get the true position of the renumeration of public officers.
There has been outrage over the renumeration of members of the National Assembly which many believe is outrageous.
The public became even more outraged recently when Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinabajo offered to take only half of the salaries approved for them throughout their four-year tenure, calling on the federal lawmakers to do same.
He however admitted that the downward review of the renumeration did not start with the present administration as the commission had started the review process from last year.
Concerning if members of the National Assembly would accept pay cut as being planned by the commission, Mbam said, “they (the federal lawmakers) do not have a choice. We are guided by the constitution and we are going to be guided by such laws that are provided for in the constitution. They swore to obey the laws of the country.”
Mbam said he was not in a position to say when the new revenue sharing formula which his commission had already produced the draft would come into force.
“I do not want to give a definite date because it is beyond my control. I do not determine when the process will be concluded but as far as the commission is concerned, we have concluded our work and announced to the general public that we have a draft. But you know it goes through a process before it finally becomes a law,” he explained.
Mbam also said that one of the challenges facing the commission was inadequate funding.
According to him, “we are saying that we expect that the commission should be one of the agencies of government that should have financial autonomy. The best way to do that is to include it as one of the agencies that will benefit from first line charge.
“The second is to give the commission the power of enforcement. They should review the Act establishing the commission so that it can have power of enforcement and sanctions on any of the defaulting Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Asked about the President’s reaction, Mbam said Buhari advised the commission to ensure that they use all legitimate means to see that all public office holders take home renumeration as determined by the commission.
He added that Buhari also advised his team to ensure that leakages are blocked in the system.