James Emejo in Abuja
The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) on Thursday said it was concluding preparations to submit the draft reports of the proposed new Revenue Allocation Formula as well as the Remuneration Packages for Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders to President Muhammadu Buhari for onward transmission to the National Assembly.
It noted that the proceedings of the Justice Kutigi-led National Conference and the Senator Ikweremadu-led Constitutional amendments, both of which had further deliberated extensively on the issue of revenue allocation formula review as well as the 2015 general elections which saw to the emergence of the present administration had delayed the process of transmitting the draft document to former president, Goodluck Jonathan last year.
The clarification came against the backdrop of a report published by a major newspaper (Not THISDAY), that the commission planned to withdraw the draft revenue formula which is with the presidency in view of the current fiscal crisis.
But in a statement issued by RMAFC spokesman, Ibrahim Mohammed, the commission wondered why a document which had not been submitted, would be withdrawn.
It said the report its planned withdrawal of a draft report lacked “substance and merit as RMAFC was yet to make submission of either of the said reports to Mr. President and wondered how it could withdraw what was not submitted in the first place.”
The immediate past Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Elias Mbam had at the end of the Revenue Allocation Formula Review exercise in January, 2014 held a Press Conference in Abuja where he assured Nigerians that the lapses inherent in the old revenue allocation formula would be addressed as the draft report would provide a fair and just template for the revenue sharing regime.
Mbam had further cautioned that the country needed to quickly reduce the level of its over-dependence on oil and gas revenue by diversifying the economy in order to ensure sustainable means of funding its development programmes as the hydrocarbon resources which the country depended on are exhaustible, non-renewable and vulnerable to international price volatility and politics.
The statement added that the Commission’s prescription in the proposed document would not only serve the needs of the people but also encourage the three tiers of government to optimise the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) potentials within their domains and promote fairness, justice and transparency in the administration of revenue distributions from the Federation Account for sustainable national development.