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New salaries for Buhari, govs, senators

Chairman, RMAFC, Mr. Elias Mbam
THE Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission has put together a new remuneration package for President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, ministers and members of the National Assembly, The PUNCH has learnt.

Our correspondent gathered in Abuja that commissioners at the RMAFC would spend most of next week to debate and ratify the new salaries and allowances for public officers as prepared by a committee set up by the commission.

The remuneration panel, which worked on the new remuneration package, was headed by Mr. Abdullahi Inde.

Also to be affected by the new remuneration regime for public office holders are governors, members of the states’ Houses of Assembly, local government chairmen and their councillors, judges, commissioners, special advisers, special assistants, chairmen of constitutional bodies and other political office holders.

Although the report of the committee is still a secret, Chairman of RMAFC, Mr. Elias Mbam, confirmed on the telephone that the commissioners would sit in plenary on the report between October 25 and 28.

Each state of the federation is represented by a commissioner at the revenue mobilisation agency, which has the responsibility for determining the remuneration of political and judicial office holders across the country.

Our correspondent learnt that while the committee concentrated more on the allowances of political and judicial office holders, the proposed salary package would not be significantly different from what it is currently.

The new package is also said to include a significant reduction in the number of aides and assistants that lawmakers are entitled to as well as a few other allowances that had attracted condemnation from Nigerians.

For the President, Vice President, governors and deputy governors, the committee is said not to have made any fundamental adjustments, our correspondent learnt.

This is because most of the allowances of key members of the executives at the federal and state levels were not monetised but provided for by the state.

The annualised salary and allowances of the President is N14, 058,820 while that of his deputy is N12, 126,290.

Apart from salary, the regular allowances that are monetised for the President are only the hardship allowance, put at N1, 757,350.50 per annum; and consistency allowance, N8, 786,762:50 per annum.

For the Vice President, the hardship allowance is N1, 515,786.25 per annum while the consistency allowance is N7, 578,931:25 per annum.

The irregular allowances for the President are the severance allowance – 300 per cent of the annual salary or 10,544,115; and leave allowance, 10 per cent of the annual salary or N351, 470:50.

The irregular allowances of the Vice President are the severance allowance, 300 per cent of the annual salary or N9, 094,717.50; and leave allowance, 10 per cent of the annual salary or N303, 157.25.

Other allowances that the President and the deputy are supposed to enjoy but which are not provided in monetary terms include motor vehicle fuelling and maintenance, special assistants, and personal assistants. Others are domestic staff, entertainment, utilities, security and newspapers/periodical allowances.

There are also accommodation, furniture, duty tour, estacode, medical, and severance/gratuity.

Buhari and Osinbajo had soon after assumption of office announced their decision to take only 50 per cent of the salary and allowances approved for them.

For a senator, the salaries and allowances add up to N20, 669,280 per annum. Those of a member of the House of Representatives add up to N17, 271,347.75.

For a minister, the salary and allowances add up to N14,705,164, while those of presidential aides add up to N14, 085,843.75.

Each minister is also entitled to a furniture allowance of N6, 079,200 as well as a motor vehicle loan of N7, 830,320.

Apart from these irregular allowances, there are other regular perks of office that are paid to lawmakers on a monthly basis. These include motor vehicle maintenance and fuelling. This is pegged at 75 per cent of their monthly salary.

Others are personal assistant, 25 per cent; domestic staff, 75 per cent; entertainment, 30 per cent; utilities, 30 per cent; newspapers/periodicals, 15 per cent; wardrobe, 25 per cent; house maintenance, five per cent; and constituency, 250 per cent, among other payments.

The RMAFC had in June this year set in motion the process for the downward review of the existing salaries and allowances of political, public and judicial office holders when it set up a committee chaired by Inde.

At the inaugurationof the committee, Mbam had urged the members to be conscious of the prevailing economic situation and the need to reduce cost of governance so as to free more funds for development.

After the final approval by plenary on October 28, the report would be presented to the Federal Executive Council, which has the responsibility to table it before the National Assembly for enactment as an Act of Parliament.

The current remuneration of public office holders is guided by the Remuneration Act of 2008.

A review became imperative following dwindling government revenues caused by falling prices of oil in the international oil market.