President Muhammadu Buhari has rebuked the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission for approving
for some political office holders.
And he has urged the commission
to seek a proper interpretation of its powers and address the public
outcry against the unreasonably high payments.
Buhari made the remark today when the RMAFC chairman and members briefed him in Abuja on the cost of governance in the country.
payment to political office holders has remained a hot topic in
Nigeria, since Buhari assumed power in May and followed up with a
voluntary massive reduction in his salary. Expectations that the
National Assembly which votes N150 billion yearly for its recurrent
expenditure, would take a cue, were dashed as senators vehemently
resisted the 30 per cent reduction in their pay package as recommended
by an ad-hoc panel set up to address the issue.
Despite the grave
poverty in the country, Nigeria’s assemblymen earned the highest
salaries in the world. Ordinarily a senator gets a monthly salary of
N1.4 million while his colleague in the House gets N1.1 million a
month.But the allowances they received are humongous, far above the
markings set by the RMAFC.
For instance, each senator earns N6, 079,200 for furniture. House members get receive N5, 955,637 each for their furniture.
At the meeting, the President also gave the RMAFC the assignment to design a humane way to deal with the oil subsidy issue.
had blamed past administrations for the current situation in which
Nigeria is forced to spend billions of naira annually on alleged
subsidies for petroleum products.
According to him, the
escalation of petroleum subsidy payments in recent years was due to the
deliberate neglect of the nation’s refineries, oil pipelines and other
related infrastructure to allow the importation of petroleum products
and corruption to thrive.
The President, who restated his huge
disappointment with the way Nigeria’s oil industry has been run since he
left office as Petroleum Minister and Military Head of State, said that
he was convinced that if the development of the country’s domestic
refining capacity and petroleum products distribution network had kept
pace with national demand, there would not have been any need for the
huge subsidies currently being paid to importers.
the infrastructure to collapse so that their cronies can steal by
bringing in refined products from overseas,” President Buhari said.
President urged the chairman and members of the RMAFC, who availed him
of their view on the vexed issued of petroleum subsidy payments, to go
“back to the drawing board” and come up with more humane proposals to
rescue ordinary Nigerians from the “wicked manipulation” of the
country’s oil industry by corrupt operators.
The President said
that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Nigerian Ports
Authority and other MDAs which previously relied on the laws
establishing them to retain all or part of revenues collected by them,
did so illegally and must now comply with the Nigerian Constitution by
paying all revenues to the Federation Account.
also warned that severe sanctions will be visited on any individual or
organisation that violates the directive on the payment of all national
revenue into the Federation Account.
Source: PM News