The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has justified its recommendation of an upward review of political office holders’ salaries in the country.
The commission had recommended a 114 per cent increase in the salaries of elected public officials, including President Bola Tinubu, his deputy, Senator Kashim Shettima, federal and state legislators, governors, as well as judicial officers.
This, however requires approval from the president and other cabinet members and thereafter it would be sent to the National Assembly through an executive bill for passage.
While Nigerians expect the government to cut cost at a time of fuel subsidy removal, the Commission argued that the increment was long overdue, adding that the last time the affected public officials’ salaries were increased was 16 years ago.
Speaking on ARISE News Channel on Wednesday night, a Federal Commissioner of RMAFC, Hassan Usman, noted that elected officials as well as the populace were all confronted with the same economic situation.
The RMAFC is saddled with the responsibility of determining the appropriate remuneration for political office holders, including the President, Vice President, Governors, Deputy Governors, Ministers, Commissioners, Special Advisers, Legislators and the holders of the offices as mentioned in Sections 84 and 124 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.
However, as a result of the recommendation, the commission has called on the 36 states’ Houses of Assembly to hasten efforts on the amendment of relevant laws to give room for upward review of remuneration packages for political, judicial and public officers.
According to the commissioner, “The consumer price index is for everybody; private and the public”, adding that the scenario formed part of their consideration for the increment.
While pointing out that the commission could not fold their hands and watch, “until when the sacrificial lamb is dead or killed”, Usman argued that the salary of Nigeria’s President is one of the lowest when compared and with all the other presidents, adding that the annual salary of the president falls around N7 million.
He, however, clarified that the increment was on only the basic salary of the public officials.
“We didn’t increase the allowances all what we did was increase the basic salary and then of course the allowances are there the way they are, they are only commensurate percentages of the basic salary,” he said.
He further explained that the reviews are in four volumes, involving the federal government and the Federal Capital Territory on one hand and the governors, state legislators as well as local governments on the other.
“Volume one entails the review of the federal government and the FCT, volume two for the state government and the local government, volume three is for the judiciary from top to bottom and volume four is for the legislature, from the federal legislature to the state and even local government council.
“The volumes are there, we have submitted them, they are just recommendations. We have submitted to the office of Mr President and he is going to take them to the National Assembly for the federal government and FCT and those for the states would be legislated upon by the state houses of assembly”, he added