Increasing political office holders’ salaries would reduce corruption – RMAFC

RMAFC Federal Commissioner in Charge of Gombe State, Kabiru Usman during a courtesy visit to Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed



The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has advanced reasons why political office holders deserve an increase in their salaries.


The RMAFC Federal Commissioner in Charge of Gombe State, Kabiru Usman, who spoke to journalists in an interview shortly after paying a courtesy visit to the Governor Bala Mohammed, on Thursday at the Government House, Bauchi, said that public officers also need a pay rise in order to meet up with the prevailing economic situation in the country.


He said that increasing their salaries would help to reduce or prevent corruption because when they have a better salary, they would not siphon public resources within their care.


Speaking further, he said that the Commission has been empowered by law to determine the salaries of political office holders and judicial workers in the country, hence, increasing their salaries would aid them in carrying out their assigned responsibilities.


Usman said that RMAFC has reviewed upwards the salary structure of political office holders in the country and would soon start its implementation “but we are studying the situation for now.”


“You see, political office holders are human beings, they are also public workers and they go to the same markets with everyone. The Commission, under paragraph 32b is empowered to determine the salaries of political office holders and judicial workers in the country. So, we have undertaken work on it, we have revised it but we are looking at the situation for now.


“What we are doing is we are not doing it to allow somebody to have a very fat salary, whatever we are paying, there are certain principles that we look upon before we increase that salary.


“Apart from the cost of living index, initially, the former salary that we had when a bag of rice was sold, maybe N200 or N300 now the same bag of rice is over N50,000, so you see how things have changed. The cost of utilities, gas, electricity, telephone, they are going astronomically very high; so because of that, you have to review.


“If you say you’ll just pay a Governor N5,000 for the cost of telephone, how many hours does the governor need to talk in a day. Off you say that I am a Minister and that you are giving me only a bag of rice in my house, is that adequate? Will it cater for my people? So, we are also looking at the responsibilities attached to that office.


“When you have a Commissioner who is your classmate, your friend, your neighbour, you all go to him when you have a problem. So, assuming his salary is also N30,000 like your own, would you go to him? he said.


Justifying the planned increase of the salaries of the political office holders he said that it would help in addressing the menace of corruption.


According to Usman: “In all honesty, we are doing that with all sense of responsibility. We don’t want corruption, that’s why people who are operating at the political level have the opportunity to come closer to the public funds.


“So, if somebody is managing millions and you say his salary is only N50,000, are you sure he’s not going to temper with what is there (under his care)? So, these are some of the principles we are using.”


Also speaking on the salary increase for political office holders, Governor Bala Mohammed, said that RMAFC has already come up with a salary structure, “because what is good for the goose is good for the gander. They are looking at the cofers.”


“Our political party holders too are entitled to get a salary increase too and they have done it, it is being ratified.


“I am a labour-friendly Governor and I wouldn’t mind if these salaries are increased because Bauchi is one State that is paying the minimum wage with consequential adjustment, because as a civil servant who grew through the system who passed through the means of public service, I knew where the shoe was pinching,” he added.


The OPINION / COLUMN is authored by independent contributors to the National Accord Newspaper. While contributors adhere to our editorial guidelines, they are not employed by the National Accord Newspaper. The perspectives and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the National Accord Newspaper or its staff.

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