According to Muhammed Shehu, the Chairman of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the monthly salary of the president is less than N1.5 million.
In a conversation with the media on Sunday in Abuja, Mr. Shehu denied the rumor that those in political power received extravagant remuneration. He said Nigerian politicians do not make as much money as their counterparts in various federal government departments.
In the midst of what they termed severe economic challenges in the nation, Nigerians recently denounced news of a commission proposal to increase the wages of political office holders by 114 percent.
According to Mr. Shehu, the information on the pay rise is untrue.
He asserted that determining and assessing the wages of executive, legislative, and judicial authorities was RMAFC’s constitutional duty.
The last time their pay was evaluated, he claimed, was in 2007.
Mr. Shehu said: “From 2008 till date, there has not been a single review.
“Last year, some individuals took the Federal Government to court. These were some activists concerned about the salaries of judicial officers.
“In the court, the judge ruled that a judge should be paid about N10 million a month; that was the court ruling.”
He also added that the commission would not contemplate the speculated increase now, considering the prevailing economic challenges faced by Nigerians. He mentioned that the salary increase will be done when the “climate is right”.
The chairman went further in saying that the president’s monthly salary is less than N1.5 million.
“I want to disabuse the minds of Nigerians. It is not true that people are getting jumbo salaries.
“The monthly salary of Mr. President is less than N1.5 million; that of a minister is not even up to one million naira.
“I know of an average CBN worker who is not even a director and who earns more than a minister.
“People in the NNPC, NCC, and ports authority earn huge salaries. What is the salary of a governor? What is the salary of a legislator?
“I know some people will say members of the National Assembly get up to 10 million or 11 million monthly.
“Those are not salaries; they are the operating costs of running their offices, which in other societies, the legislator does not have to see because there is a structure.
“Once you get elected, you make that structure from your constituency office to computers to logistics to the size of your constituency.
“Wherever you have a constituency office, the workers you hire, it is the National Assembly Service Commission that is supposed to take care of that.
“But the Nigerian system allows the legislator to be given a certain amount, and then he deals with that and retires the receipts,” the RMAFC Chairman added.