Absence of 30 commissioners grounds activities at RMAFC

Posted by Nuruddeen M. Abdallah, Hamza Idris & Chris Agabi | 26 November 2018 | 889 times

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Activities at the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) are grounded because of the absence of 30 commissioners whose tenure ended about three years ago.

Daily Trust investigations revealed that the agency now has only seven commissioners, as against the 38 stipulated by the constitution.

RMAFC is one of the executive bodies established by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

The commission is mandated to monitor the accruals to and disbursement of revenue from the Federation Account; review, from time to time, the revenue allocation formulae and principles in operation to ensure conformity with changing realities provided that any formula which has been accepted by an Act of the National Assembly shall remain in force for a period of not less than five years from the date of commencement of the Act.

It also advises the federal and state governments on fiscal efficiency and methods by which their revenue can be increased; determine the remuneration appropriate for political officeholders.

The agency is composed of members from 36 states each and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as well as a chairman and secretary.

The commission requires at least one third representation from the 36 states and the FCT to be deemed to have been properly constituted.

With 38 members, the revenue mobilization agency requires at least 13 members to form a quorum before any decision is taken.

Daily Trust gathered that the agency could not sit to take any decision in the last three years because of the absence of 30 members.

The RMAFC, our reporters reliably gathered, currently has a membership of seven commissioners whose tenure would end in 2019.

The seven states with commissioners at the agency are Sokoto, Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Osun, Imo and Bayelsa states.

The immediate past chairman of the commission, Engr. Elias Mbam, was reappointed in June 2016 for a second term by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The commissioner representing Borno State, Umar Gana, has been the acting chairman since then.

It was, however, gathered that Mbam’s name has not been submitted yet to the Senate for confirmation, just as the other 30 members were not reappointed by the president.

A source inside RMAFC said “with the board as presently constituted, no policy decisions can be taken on any national issue since the remaining members do not form a quorum as demanded by the statute and hence any action taken to the contrary remains ultra vires and of no consequence.

“To avoid possible litigation and restore the confidence and trust of the beneficiaries in the activities and programmes of the commission, it has become expedient for the federal government to consider reconstituting the board as quickly as possible,” the source, who declined being named, said.

Attempt to speak to the acting Chairman of RMAFC, Mr Shettima Abba-Gana, over the matter was unsuccessful.

He neither answered calls nor responded to a text message by our correspondent up to press time.

Daily Trust reports that recently, RMAFC workers under the aegis of the Nigerian Civil Service Union (NCSU) and the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), during a protest, demanded for the immediate reconstitution of the board.

Towards the end of 2014, Mbam and his team had announced that a draft new revenue formula was ready.

But the then Goodluck Jonathan administration did not implement the new formula.

The president is constitutionally empowered to lay the draft document before the National Assembly.

The commission recently said that it informed the Buhari administration of the report, but no action has been taken.

The RMAFC commission reviews the revenue sharing formula at least every five years as well as the salaries and allowances of political office holders.

A source said the Buhari administration should show the political will to press for a review of the revenue sharing formula by immediately reconstituting the RMAFC board.

Sourced from a Daily Trust report

 


Source: News Express

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