The Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) says Senators and members of the House of Representatives will earn less than N1 million starting from October 2015.
RMAFC chairman, Elias Mbam, who made the disclosure on Tuesday, said the latest salary review of the federal lawmakers was ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari in the wake of public outcry over their jumbo salaries and allowances.
Mbam said the salary review which is still going through a process and expected to be ready by next month is meant to reflect the economic realities of the day occasioned by the drop in oil prices. “We are currently reviewing the subsisting remuneration packages and it is going to reflect the socio-economic realities of today. We expect that before the end of next month, it will be ready. But it will go through a process, it is not something that you will just say yes or no,” he said.
“No member of the National Assembly should earn up to N1million per month,” he stressed, adding that the Senators and Members of the House of Representatives have no option but to abide by the commission’s new wage formula.
“They do not have a choice. We are guided by the constitution and we are going to be guided by such laws that are provided for in the constitution and the oath they swore to obey,” he said.
According to him, President Buhari advised that they use all legitimate means to ensure that all public office holders’ emoluments comply with those approved by the commission and “ensure that leakages are blocked.”
The RMAC listed the challenges faced by the commission to include poor funding and lack of powers to enforce rules. “The best way to do that is to include it (RMAC) as one of the agencies that will benefit from first line charge,” he said, while demanding a review of the Act establishing the commission so that it can “have power of enforcement and sanctions on any of the defaulting MDAs”.
Mbam revealed that the salary review project had been on since last year, but became imperative at the moment following the drop in oil prices and the financial constraint on the federal and state governments. “These are some of the issues that made the review necessary. It did not start with this administration; we started the review as far back as last year. It is not because of the present administration that we commenced it,” he said.
BY Olisemeka Obeche