Why govt must hands off revenue from 31 agencies, by RMFAC
It was wrong for the Federal Government to appropriate revenue generated by 31 agencies because most of them use assets that belong to the federation, the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has insisted.
RMAFC had last week requested the National Assembly to amend the laws to transfer to the Federation Account (three tiers of Governments) revenue generated by some 31 revenue agencies under the control of the Federal Government.
Essentially, the fiscal commission wrote to ask the National Assembly to amend the laws establishing those agencies, most of which were established during the military era in the country. The Commission had, before last week, also reportedly drew the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to the need to amend the existing statutes to bring them in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution.
The affected agencies include: Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
Speaking to The Guardian at the weekend in Abuja, the Acting Chairman of RMAFC, Alhaji Umar Abba Gana, said: “ The point we are making is that some of them (agencies ) are using assets of the federation, including the ports, land, air and sea. Revenue derived from the assets of the federation should come into the federation account. We are talking about things like solid minerals, oil, giving airways licences, these are airlines overflying Nigeria, usage of our ports by port authorities.
“These agencies have not been telling revenue commission everything they have been earning. They insist they earn, spend and only pay 80 per cent surplus, but surplus as determined by who? What I am trying to say is that agencies should pay into the federation account, then the Federal Government can take its own share, states and local governments can also take their own shares.
“Some of them do offer services in the states. We are not going to say that a state didn’t get anything, but what we are saying is that the whole thing should be more transparent and more accountable if it is going into the federation account and be appropriated by the National Assembly properly.
“ What I am talking about is for proper transparency and accountability, let it go into the federation account and let it be appropriated by the National Assembly then everything would be mentioned openly how much they are earning, how much they are going to use and how much would be paid and how much would remain in the federation account. It would be in the public domain because is going to be done on the floor of the National Assembly.’’