Design new revenue sharing formula, Reps tell RMAFC

The House of Representatives has asked the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to come up with a new revenue sharing formula that will put more resources at the disposal of state and local governments.

The House Committee on Finance, which grilled Chairman of the RMAFC, Mr Elias Mbam, at a budget defence session in Abuja on Wednesday, said Nigerians were demanding devolution of power especially on finances.

Chairman of the committee, Mr James Faleke, said, “Let us make it very clear, Chairman (Mbam); the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission is purely established to mobilise revenue for Nigerians and a very core responsibility is the issue of new revenue formula.

“If you are unable to do this core responsibility, then Nigerians will not be happy with us. Nigerians are saying that the money at the centre is too much.”

He added, “Where you just sit down and you see the Federal Government sponsoring a lot of projects like N-Power, N-Agric that they have no business with, it shows us that there is so much money at the centre to the detriment of the states.

“Please, take this your function as very critical. If by next year we are not getting anything towards a new bill, this committee might be forced not to consider your budget.”

Mbam, in his written presentation to the committee, a part of which he read out, decried the high cost of governance in the country, saying the RMAFC was on the verge of introducing a review.

The document partly read, “The cost of governance in Nigeria is very high and has continued to be on the increase.

“This is clearly unsustainable as no country can develop with such a high level of recurrent expenditure.”

The RMAFC boss also called for the separation of the offices of the Accountant-General of Federation and the Accountant-General of the Federal Government.

Mbam disclosed that the agency  recovered over N75bn from some probes, details of which the committee asked him to provide.

He also said over N474m had been recovered by its current Customs Monitoring Committee.

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