Earnings of lawmakers or any other political office holder that is outside the prescription of the Remuneration Package for Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders 2008 Act are illegal, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission has said.
Newly inaugurated Chairman of RMAFC, Mr Elias Mbam, made the declaration while answering questions from newsmen at the inaugural meeting of the commission in Abuja on Monday.
Mbam said, “The remuneration that is operating now is the same for all political office holders, whether you are in the National Assembly or you are in the executive or in the judiciary. It is the same Act. So, we are not using a different Act for the judiciary.
“It is that same Act that provided for them in 2008 that is still being used to determine the appropriate salaries and entitlements of the minister, the president, the members of the legislature and all other public office holders.
“We are not favouring anyone and anything outside that Act is not known to the commission. We are going to look at every aspect of our mandate.”
The salary and allowances of a senator is N1, 063,860 a month while the monthly salary and allowances of a member of the House of Representatives is N794, 086.83 as prescribed by RMAFC.
However, as disclosed by a member of the 9th National Assembly, a senator gets as much as N13.5m a month for overhead while a member of the House of Representatives is said to get as much as N10m a month for overhead.
These earnings which are outside the prescription of RMAFC have remained controversial.
Mbam pledged that RMAFC would review the emoluments of lawmakers to ensure that it is in line with current realities. He, however, declined to say whether the review would be upwards or downwards as many Nigerians had advocated.
He also pledged to establish a committee to be charged with diversification of the country’s revenue sources as well as a committee that will give the nation a new revenue sharing formula.
The RMAFC said, “We shall establish an effective standing committee on diversification. Our efforts shall be directed more towards increasing the size of the cake for allocation to the three tiers of government rather than dissipate energy on sharing of a shrinking cake.”
Speaking to the new members of the commission that were inaugurated last Thursday by President Muhammadu Buhari, Mbam said, “I want to assure you that the commission as a family shall provide you the opportunity to develop and contribute your quota to the socioeconomic development of our country.
“Our mandate as a commission is to uphold and promote national interest far above primordial interests. To this end, I implore all members to approach all issues pertaining to the mandate of the commission with open mind and nationalistic fervour for the development of our country.”
Mbam said that RMAFC under him would collaborate with the three tiers of government and sister agencies to achieve its desired objectives without compromising its core mandate.
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