Tuesday, May 24, 2022
MARKET UPDATE
Advertisement

TheCable

Review lawmakers’ salaries to reflect economic realities, court orders RMAFC

Review lawmakers’ salaries to reflect economic realities, court orders RMAFC
June 04
18:52 2021

A federal high court in Lagos has ordered the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to review the salaries and allowances of members of the national assembly, to reflect the country’s current economic realities.

The judgment was delivered after the hearing of originating summons in suit number FHC/L/CS/690/2018 by Monday Ubani and other, and suit number FHC/LA/CS/943/2019 involving the Socio-economic Rights Accountability Project (SERAP), Enough is Enough (EiE), and BudgIT.

Chuka Obiozor, the judge, held that the national assembly service commission has no power to determine the remuneration and allowances of lawmakers.

“The national assembly service commission has no power whatsoever to fix and determine or allocate the remuneration, allowances, salaries, emoluments or monetary values to the members of the national assembly,” the judge held.

Advertisement

The court also ruled that RMAFC is the only body responsible for determining the salaries, remuneration and/or allowances of the national assembly or political officeholders.

The plaintiffs had instituted the suit following reports that lawmakers receive running costs and allowances not determined by RMAFC.

In their consolidated suits, the plaintiffs stated that the salaries and allowances of lawmakers have not been reviewed in over 10 years.

Advertisement

“RMAFC has failed to do any downward review of salaries and allowances of members of the national assembly since 2007, in spite of the economic downturn in Nigeria. Yet, the commission is statutorily required to review the pay of the lawmakers, in conformity with the country’s economic realities and to achieve fiscal efficiency,” the plaintiffs said.

“Given many years of extreme poverty in the country, and the inability of several state governments to pay salaries of workers and pensions, the refusal or failure of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to review and cut the salaries and allowances of members of the national assembly is a gross violation of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) and the commission’s own Act.

“The allowances of wardrobe, newspapers, kitchen travelling domestic and constituency project allowances of the members of the national assembly are never contemplated or in the intendment of the constitution which created them and specified how they can be remunerated.

“The duty of the RMAFC to review the salaries and allowances of members of the National Assembly is mandatory and the Commission cannot choose not to comply. Therefore, the failure or refusal by the Commission to comply with its own Act amounts to arbitrariness.

Advertisement

“Unless the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs are granted, the defendants and members of the national assembly will continue to benefit from these outrageous salaries and allowances, in breach of the law and at the expense of millions of Nigerians living in extreme poverty.

“The amounts budgeted as payment for furniture and accommodation allowance to members of the 9th national assembly negates the oath of office under the Seventh Schedule of the 1999 Constitution by members to perform their functions in the interest of the well being and prosperity of Nigeria.

“The National Assembly comprises of 469 members – with 109 in the Senate and 360 in the House of Representatives. These public officers form a very tiny percentage of about 200 million Nigerians. Members are still eligible to collect huge sums of money as monthly allowances and severance pay at the end of their respective terms.”

SERAP, EiE, and BudgIT had sued for themselves and on behalf of 1,522 concerned Nigerians.

Advertisement

Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), and Adelanke Aremo had argued for the plaintiffs.

In March 2018, Shehu Sani, former lawmaker representing Kaduna central district, had revealed that senators receive N13.5 million monthly as running cost.

Advertisement

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment