By Anayo Okoli
Umuahiaâ€”The Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) says it has stripped Governors, Speakers and local government chairmen of some privileges they hitherto enjoyed, including allowances.
ForÂ Governors and Deputy Governors, the severance gratuity of 300% was cancelled because they are entitled to pension and gratuity by virtue of the provision of section 124 (5) of the 1999 constitution. The hardship allowance was however, reduced from 50% to 20 %. The same thing with President and his Vice.
For the legislature, the number of vehicles to be provided to the Speaker was reduced to three, while constituency allowance for members of the state Houses of Assembly was reduced from 50% to 25%. This is also applicable to the National Assembly.
Also, severance gratuity for members was reduced from 300% to 200%, while robe allowance and House maintenance allowance was cancelled.
Chairman of the Commission Engr Hamman Tukur, disclosed this in Umuahia yesterday, when members of the Commission presented the report on the downward review of the remuneration package for Political, Public and Judicial officer holders at the state level to Abia state government at the Government House.
He also disclosed that accommodation and furniture allowance at the local government level have been reduced by over 50%, while allowances such as entertainment, Personal Assistant and severance gratuity were altogether cancelled.
Specifically, the Commission said that it has been noted that a substantial part of the national wage bill of about N1.3trillion is attributed to the local government tier, â€œOut of this sum, 53% is being expended by the local governments, the 36 states corresponding expenditures is about 32% while at the federal level, it is only about 15%.â€
Tukur saidÂ that the review became necessary because of the dwindling economic fortunes of the country, following the global economic meltdown, which he noted had adversely affected the price of crude oil.