By; NWOGHA ANDY, Abakaliki
The Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Engr. Elias Mbam on Saturday said that the commission has begun reviewing the emoluments of political and judiciary office holders.
The RMAFC Boss made the disclosure at Amagu community in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State at the 7th Ofala festival and 30th anniversary of the coronation of the traditional ruler, Ezeogo Dominic Aloh, Erima-Ogwudu III of Amagu Kingdom.
Chief Mbam, who was conferred with a chieftaincy title of Aka Ekpuchi Onwa II by the traditional ruler, told newsmen that a process to review the remuneration of political and judicial office holders was in progress.
He noted that the commission was saddled with the responsibility, hence it would soon conduct a public hearing on the issue, to allow the citizens contribute to the process.
“One of the major responsibilities of our commission is to determine remunerations appropriate for political and judicial office holders.
“In doing that, the financial situation of the country, at any given time, is taken into consideration, including inflation and the country’s Gross Domestic Product among others.
“The commission, being conscious that a lot has happened since the last review, has commenced the process of another review to reflect the changing realities. “We have progressed and we believe that before the end of 2021, something concrete will happen.”
The chairman, who declined to confirm if the salary would be reviewed downward or upwards, said the process was ongoing and would be influenced by a number of indices.
“It is a process and the process at the end determines what it will be; when we go through the process, if it comes out to be increase, we increase, if it is decrease we do it,” he added.
Mbam, however, enjoined Nigerians to participate in the review, noting that there would be public hearings and invitations for memoranda from members of the public, including institutions under the three tiers of government.
The RMAFC Boss, who also spoke on the diversification of the nation’s economy, noted that the solid minerals sector had been contributing immensely to the economy since his assumption of duty as chairman of the commission. He said the commission embarked on sensitisation and advocacy campaigns to all tiers of government, as well as across the 36 states of the federation to encourage revenue diversification, which was yielding results.
He said: “Before I came in, solid minerals was not contributing to the federation accounts, but now solid minerals is a major source of revenue, we want to focus more on that.
“We also want to make agriculture, tourism and manufacturing, major contributors to our national revenue and we believe that it won’t be long and we will be getting more revenue from diversification.”
Mbam said the award given to him was a call to more responsibility, adding that it would spur him to contribute more to the development of the society.
He said that the‘Ofala festival was very important because of its significance for cultural revivalism in Igbo society, explaining that anybody who loses his culture was equivalent to losing his identity.