President Muhammadu Buhari has rebuked the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission for approving excessive remunerations for some political office holders in the country.
And he has urged the commission to seek a proper interpretation of its powers and address the public outcry against the unreasonably high payments. He gave the order when the RMAFC chairman and members briefed him in Abuja on the cost of governance in the country.
Excessive payment to political office holders has remained a hot topic in Nigeria, since Buhari assumed power in May and followed up with a voluntary massive reduction in his salary. Expectations that the National Assembly which votes N150 billion yearly for its recurrent expenditure, would take a cue, were dashed as senators vehemently resisted the 30 per cent reduction in their pay package as recommended by an ad-hoc panel set up to address the issue.
Despite the grave poverty in the country, Nigeria’s assemblymen earned the highest salaries in the world. Ordinarily a senator gets a monthly salary of N1.4 million while his colleague in the House gets N1.1 million a month.But the allowances they received are humongous, far above the markings set by the RMAFC.
For instance, each senator earns N6,079,200 for furniture. House members get receive N5,955,637.
The President urged the chairman and members of the RMAFC, who availed him of their view on the vexed issued of petroleum subsidy payments, to go “back to the drawing board” and come up with more humane proposals to rescue ordinary Nigerians from the “wicked manipulation” of the country’s oil industry by corrupt operators.