Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila, has urged the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to educate Nigerians on the distinction between salaries and allowances of legislators.
Gbajabiamila said this in Abuja on Thursday when he received a RMAFC delegation led by the chairman, Alhaji Muhammad Shehu at the National Assembly.
He said the lumping of lawmakers salaries and allowances has generated great controversy in the country over the actual pay of the lawmakers.
“The allowances are tied to sundry duties or work of the office of a lawmaker like maintaining a constituency office, while the salary is the actual pay he earns as a legislator.
“You need to explain to the public the difference between salaries and allowances. A lot of people lump them together and call them our take-home package. Salary is different and allowances are meant for many other issues,” Gbajabiamila said.
He assured RMAFC of support by the National Assembly towards strengthening it to deliver its mandate of mobilising revenue for the government.
Gbajabiamila said since no country could go far in terms of development without revenue, it was the priority of the House to ensure that RMAFC perform its duties optimally.
“It is revenue that takes a country from point to point; for any country that wants to grow, revenue is key to nation-building.
“That is why RMAFC is an essential component of the government in this country,” he stated.
The Speaker said the National Assembly made a lot of amendments in the ongoing Constitution review to improve the work of the RMAFC, including new allocations to tiers of government.
He said that the implementation of the amendments depended on the concurrence by the 36 states houses of assembly.
Gbajabiamila said Nigerians including President Muhammadu Buhari were waiting for the states to turn in their report on the amendments before further action on the amendments.
“There are issues about the exclusive and concurrent lists, which you mentioned; how we are going to allocate revenue and all that.
“Well, it’s before the states and we are waiting for them. We will put pressure on them and ensure we achieve it. Mr President has said that it is the only thing he is waiting for,” he said.
Gbajabiamila, advised RMAFC to build a central monitoring platform to monitor revenue movements in all government revenue-generating agencies.
He also asked the commission to submit a detailed proposal on its needs to enable the House to work on it speedily.
Speaking, Shehu appealed to the Speaker to work toward new legislations that could help RMAFC perform better in the nearest future.
He also appealed for more funding for the commission through alternative sources outside the statutory allocation by the Ministry of Finance.