The public has reacted to the clue of a possible review of salaries and emoluments of political office holders probably to reflect current economic realities. Since the Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mr Elias Mbam, made the hint though not specify how the review will go either upward or downward, reactions have since suggested a downward review.
“If the process is followed judiciously, we would get to the appropriate entitlements due to the officeholders. The review is to ensure that their remunerations reflect current realities," said Mbam.
“It should access and factor in all necessary inputs that should play a part in the determination of what is ideal and fair.
“In this regard, the commission should, of necessity, take into account, for example, the current level of government revenue, inflation rate, slow or negligible gross domestic product growth rate."
Among those who supported the downward review is the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution (CDNDC). The spearhead of the group Ariyo Dare-Atoye posited that any increase of political office holders wages amounts to a disservice to Nigerians coming at a time that many state governments are finding it hard to pay the minimum wage, emphasizing that the country's political leaders are the highest paid in the world.
Director-General of NECA, Dr Timothy Olawale, who commented that the review was long overdue urged RMAFC to muster the courage and decisively adjust salaries and allowances of all political office holders to the extent that such offices are not made too attractive to the effect that getting there becomes a do or die affair.
The RMAFC is empowered by Section 32(d) Part I of the Third Schedule of the Constitution to determine the remuneration appropriate for political officeholders.