•Reforming RMAFC is half the battle to fiscal sanity
•“Blame RMAFC: Not Governor Goje or Governors’’
BY DELE SOBOWALE
“It is true that we have increased the salaries and remuneration packages in line with our mandate. But we did not increase on the basis of percentage. The whole increase was done across the board for political officers, lawmakers and judicial officers. The increase has also taken effect because it has been approved accordingly. – Mr Emmanuel Nnamani, RMAFC Commissioner, in THE NATION, August 18, 2008.
All Nigerians who have for long been baffled by how public servants including Presidents, Vice Presidents, Governors, Ministers and Special Advisers, Senators and Representatives, have been fleecing us need look no further than the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, which is charged with determining the remuneration packages of public officials. One of the first ruinous measures taken by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 1999, and until now, was to select what in retrospect now appears to be conscienceless people to be in charge of RMAFC. Since any amount recommended by RMAFC becomes legal and binding on the Federal Government and States to pay, everybody can go home with a bundle claiming it was legitimate. On account of the recommendations of RMAFC, since 1999, Nigeria’s public officials have become the highest paid in Africa at least and in most of the world.
If Buhari wants to keep public expenditure under check and save Nigeria from the ruin planned for us by the PDP, he would be best advised to read the following articles written in the past about RMAFC.
WHAT MANNER OF PEOPLE MANAGE RMAFC?
The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, whose Chairman is Alhaji Hamman Tukur, must be the most misunderstood commission in Nigeria today. Its recent announcement, which was meant to correct rumours about entitlements of public officials has only left many people wondering what criteria were adopted by the commission when fixing the entitlements. Let me start by pointing out one which will shock most Nigerians. The pension for many professors who retired before 2000 remains a paltry N1300 per month. At least three have collapsed while on line for verification before collecting this sum that would not even cover the round trip from Lagos to Ibadan.
They are public servants who individually and collectively have contributed more than Special Advisers who the RMAFC is recommending should be paid N16 million per annum. Surely, Nigerians will want the RMAFC to tell us what are the functions of Special Advisers which are so awesome as to earn them this colossal amount?