The Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission has commenced the process of reviewing the remuneration packages, including salaries and allowances, of all political, public and judicial office holders.
The pay of public office holders, particularly the salaries and allowances of the National Assembly members, has been an issue of serious contention for some time.
Since 2010, the N150 billion annual allocations to the National Assembly in the budget, which includes the salaries and allowances and other perks office, have remained a closely guarded secret, as their details have always been hidden from the public.
The take-home pay of an average political office holder at both the federal and state levels are far above the official earnings of their counterparts in the civil service. Also, political office holders are known to earn beyond the rates officially approved for them.
Under the provisions of the law, President Muhammadu Buhari would be entitled to about N1.17 million per month as salary, or about N14.058 million per annum, while his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo would take home about N1.01 million per month, or N12.13 million per annum, excluding other regular allowances and entitlements.
The commission chairman, Elias Mbam, on Wednesday opened the review process with the inauguration of the committee to look at the provisions of Section 32 (d) of Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the Remuneration Act 2008 to determine the appropriate remuneration for political office holders.
The Act prescribes the salaries and allowances for political, public and judicial office holders.
The chairman charged the committee to be conscious of the prevailing economic situation in the country and ensure that the final package was in line with government’s determination to drastically cut down on the cost of governance to free more funds for national development.
Mr. Mbam said the committee would undertake wide consultations with all arms of government of the federation, the national and state assemblies, state and local governments, professional economic bodies, the organised labour, the academia, the media and Nigerians in general to ensure its final report was comprehensive.
The committee members, he said, would need “to ensure that the review effectively minimises wastages and abuses and ensures prudent management of resources as well”.
According to the Chairman, the review exercise, expected to be completed before the end of September, would take into consideration the prevailing realities, in terms of inflation and downturn in global crude oil prices.
RMAFC spokesperson, Ibrahim Mohammed, explained that the commission was constitutionally empowered “to undertake the review of the remuneration packages as may be required from time to time so as to reflect current economic realities; advise federal and state governments on monetisation policies; and generate cost of living indices for revision of allowances”.
The committee, Mr. Mohammed said, was expected “to review the existing Remuneration Act; identify areas of wastages and abuse, examine the implementation of the monetisation policy by Ministries, Departments and Agencies and advise on appropriate remuneration for political, public and judicial officers commensurate with the work they do”.
The chairman of the Remuneration review committee, Abdullahi Inde, assured Nigerians that the committee would do a thorough job of the assignment, urging Nigerians to cooperate with it by providing the needed information to work with.