By Michael Eboh – Abuja
Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, has said that it has commenced the review of the salaries and emoluments of political office holders to reflect current economic realities.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Chairman of RMAFC, Mr Elias Mbam, disclosed that at the conclusion of the review process, the entitlements of the political office holders might either go up or down.
He said, “The review is a process and preliminary issues are currently being worked on. If the process is followed judiciously, we would get to the appropriate entitlements due the office holders. The review is to ensure that their remunerations reflect current realities.”
Mbam said RMAFC plans to undertake an audit process that would help it recover over N100 billion outstanding money, noting that since 2015, the commission had recovered over N75 billion from money due the Federation Account.
He maintained that the responsibility of collecting ‘illegally-earned’ salaries and remunerations from individuals sacked from the National Assembly lies within the purview of the Clerk of the Assembly.
Seeks details of sacked legislative members refunds
Mbam said that all questions on if the sacked legislative members complied with the directives of the court to refund all the salaries and emoluments they earned before their removal and the total amount recovered from them, should be directed to the Clerk of the National Assembly.
He stated that RMAFC cannot unilaterally stop the salary of a former governor and current senator who was recently jailed.
According to him, “The commission does not make laws. It uses available laws in addressing issues within its mandate. It is not the responsibility of the commission to determine whether the jailed senator should be paid or not.
The law of the land would determine what should be done. Ours is to determine what salary or entitlement is appropriate for public office holders.
“Who is qualified at a particular time is granted by the law. It is not for us to know whether he is a serving senator or not. As far as he is still regarded as a senator, he would be entitled to his entitlements as a senator. It is the law that would determine, not the commission.
“Concerning recovered monies from sacked legislative members, it is the duty of the Clerk to collect the money from them. RMAFC does not micro-manage issues and we do not audit individuals.”
Mbam noted that the solid minerals sector had started making contributions to the Federation Account, noting that revenue from the sector had been shared to states of the federation on a number of occasions.
He added that RMAFC was committed to improving the fortunes of the solid minerals sector, using as it as a means to grow the country’s revenue base.
He said, “The 13 per cent derivation also applies in the sharing of revenue from the solid minerals sector. 13 per cent derivation is not exclusive to oil and gas, it is for every natural activities that generate money to the federation account. The money generated from solid minerals, the states from which it was generated got their 13 per cent.
“It is our major area of concern now, to develop the solid minerals sector to be able to generate more revenue to the federation account.
“We are carrying out advocacy campaigns to state and local governments and Nigerians in general, that we should make use of what is available to us.”