Why review of remuneration for political, public, judicial officers is overdue, by RMAFC
The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) said, yesterday, that the ongoing public hearing on the review of remuneration for political, public and judicial office holders is to enable it design a package that is in conformity with changing socio-economic realities and other variables in the country.
Chairman of the Commission, Mohammed Shehu, who stated this in Enugu at a one-day zonal hearing, said the idea is to close the gap in salary disparity existing among political and public office holders.
He underlined that the exercise was not to “increase salaries and allowances of political and public officers.”
Shehu added that the exercise, for judicial officers, was in line with international best practices, which would guarantee delivery of justice in the most effective and efficient way.
He said that since the last exercise was carried out in 2008, changes had occurred in socio-economic indicators and other variables in the country, adding that the review is prompted by current realities.
Shehu assured Nigerians that the review would be fair, just and equitable, and would be in line with provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
The state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, while declaring the event open, observed that review of remuneration for political, public and judicial officers had been contentious, following the minimum wage that was recently reviewed.
He, however, observed that review of wages have a way of dousing tension and corruption in the country. He said: “If you earn a living wage, you will think twice before you do certain things.”
Ugwuanyi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Benedict Ezema, cautioned on the need to enforce checks and balances to impinge due process.
“In most cases, due process does not go down well with the political class, and they would want to circumvent it in their own interest. Let us know that the general public is watching and whatever package we come up with will make them form an opinion,” he said.
While appreciating the Commission, he stated that the synergy it enjoys with other agencies would make implementation of the review possible and urged Nigerians to contribute to it.