The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has concluded plans to carry out the review of remuneration of all Public officers, including the President, governors and the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
A statement from the agency said the Chairman of the Commission, Mohammed Bello Shehu, made the disclosure when he paid a courtesy visit to the Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State in his office in Abuja.
Shehu stated that Paragraph 32(D) of Part 1 to the Third Schedule of 1999 Constitution as amended, empowers the Commission to determine the remuneration of political, public and judicial officers.
He said the last time their remuneration review “was carried out was 2008, which makes it even over due for review”.
In a chat with The Nation, the RMAFC boss lamented what he described as the poor remuneration of public, political and judicial office holders, which has exposed them to corrupt tendencies.
He said: “The salaries of members of the House are even worse but because they claim they are independent, they packaged all sorts of allowances”.
Shehu added: “There is a need for that review. I have seen a magistrate that earns N150,000 a month. That is a magistrate, somebody who passes judgement. Ask around, it will shock you, they are all over Nigeria.
They don’t have housing, they don’t have transportation, they have very difficult conditions of service”.
“I think it’s about time this is reviewed for national good because we have to be able to take care of judicial officers apart from the ministers, and permanent secretaries. And you can help us by advocating for that”.
Defending the proposed review, he said: “We have a middle level worker in NNPC, in CBN who earns more than a judge, that’s the reality. In some places like the NCC, no one even knows. Anybody working in NCC will never disclose their salary to you”.
“The salary of a serving minister is N500,000, housing allowance is 200 percent of the basic. I know of a deputy governor of the Central Bank, when he left, his gratuity was N500 million. That is a life time pension”.
Tambuwal, who congratulated Shehu on his recent appointment as RMAFC Chairman lamented that the agency has been underfunded over the years, thereby making it difficult to properly monitor all the revenue accruals into the revenue account.
He said that the RMAFC should rather be funded on a first line charge. “This will possibly help the Commission go into digital monitoring and tracking of all accruable revenues into the Federation Account, thereby increasing revenues for sharing among the three tiers of government”.
Tambuwal lamented that judges are poorly paid in the country. Shehu promised to produce a fair and credible remuneration for the affected officers before the end of this present administration.
Those whose remuneration will be affected and what they earn currently are: the President N14,058,820 per annum; the Vice President N12,126,290p.a.; Minister’s, SGF, HoS, Chairmen of Constitutional bodies N7,801,640:00 p.a.; Minister’s of State, and members of Constitutional bodies N7,536,683 p.a.; Special Advisers including speech writers N7,091,493p.a.
These figures are the annual basic salaries of these office holders. It excludes other allowances, including accommodation, furniture, duty tour allowance, estacode, medicals, severance gratuity, leave and motor vehicle loan. The annual basic salary and regular allowances like vehicle fueling and maintenance, special assistant, Personal assistant, domestic staff, entertainment, utility, security, monitoring and newspapers for Director-General/Auditor General, Permanent Secretaries, Accountant General/Executive Secretaries/Chief Executives of Parastatals, Agencies and Government Companies, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners is N7,414,580:25.
The annual basic salary and regular allowances of the Chief Justice of Nigeria is N6,727,944:99; Justices of the Supreme Court/President, Court of Appeal is N10,899,284; The Senate President N8,694,848:75; Deputy Senate President N8,082,083:65; Senator N12,766,320:00; Speaker House of Representatives N4,954,220:00; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives N4,574,068:50; Members, House of Representatives N9,529,038:06; State Governors N7,782,967:50 and Deputy Governors N7,392,752:50.
There may be an upward review of the remuneration of these public office holders was given last year by the former Chairman of the RMAFC Elias Mbam, who said in reviewing the remuneration, the commission will consider existing economic conditions in determining what is fair and just.
The RMAFC has prepared about four revenue formulas. But, none of them was passed into law even after a lot of money had been spent on the review.