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Why we can’t increase Tinubu, ministers’ salary – RMAFC

September 18, 2023

The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has said the present economic realities in the country would not allow for an upward review of the salary of President Bola Tinubu and his ministers.

This is coming as experts faulted the 25.8 per cent inflation rate for August as recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

RMAFC Chairman Muhammed Shehu made the clarification Sunday while speaking to journalists in Abuja.

His position followed criticisms that trailed his earlier statement that the commission would carry out 114 per cent upward review of the salaries of political office holders at a time many Nigerians repeatedly called for a massive reduction in the cost of governance.

According to the 2023 budget of N21.83 trillion, recurrent expenditure has the highest allocation of N8.33 trillion, representing nearly 40 per cent of the budget.

RMAFC explains

But addressing journalists in Abuja, Shehu said Nigeria’s present financial realities would make such an exercise undesirable.

With revenue from oil on the decline, coupled with the country’s microeconomic fundamentals trending downwards, many Nigerians questioned the rationale of the commission in wanting to carry out the exercise.

Notwithstanding, the RMAFC boss said: “We are Nigerians, we are not going to start talking about reviewing salaries of political office holders now because of the challenges that the government is facing.

“As a commission, we are going to do our work but we are not going to say we will do it now.

“We will do it when the climate is right and then we will take it forward to the stakeholders for them to decide on what to do.”

On the actual figure of president and ministers’ salary, he said: “I want to disabuse the minds of Nigerians. It is not true that people are getting jumbo salaries.

“The monthly salary of Mr President is less than N1.5 million; that of a minister is not even up to one million naira.

“I know of an average CBN worker that is not even a director, who earns more than a minister.

“People in NNPC, NCC, Port Authority earn huge salaries. What is the salary of a governor? What is the salary of a legislator?

The RMAFC chairman further explained that what people call jumbo pay is the operational cost of running an office.

According to him, political officeholders do not earn outrageous salaries.

The RMAFC chairman said what is considered outrageous earnings are statutory office running costs, which should ordinarily be managed centrally by the National Assembly Service Commission (NASS).

“I know some people will say members of the National Assembly get up to 10 million or 11 million monthly.

“Those are not salaries; they are like operating costs of running their offices which in other societies the legislator does not have to see because there is a structure.

“Once you get elected, you make that structure from your constituency office to computers to logistics to the size of your constituency.

“Wherever you have constituency office, the workers you hire, it is the National Assembly Service Commission that is supposed to take care of that.”

He said the Nigerian system allows a legislator to be allocated a certain amount, which is spent and the receipts retired.

Experts fault NBS on inflation

Meanwhile, experts have questioned the 25.8 per cent inflation rate for August as recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In its Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for the month of August 2023, the NBS’ headline inflation rate increased to 25.80 per cent relative to the July 2023 headline inflation rate which was 24.08 per cent.

 

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