Okowa tasks National Assembly on true federalism, RMAFC’s autonomy
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has charged National Assembly to entrench true federalism and autonmoy of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in the 1999 Constitution being amended.
Okowa stated this during a nationwide sensitisation on the review of the current revenue allocation formula at the Government House, Asaba.
He explained that an autonomous RMAFC would carry out its functions independently, including submitting its proposals directly before the National Assembly for approval.
He argued that the current practice where RMAFC’s recommendations were presented to the President had led to the non-review of the revenue allocation formula since 1992, as no president had shown the political will to forward the amendments to the legislature.
The governor commended RMAFC for the ongoing sensitisation of the states before a zonal exercise where recommendations from the states would be received.
He said: “For quite some time, a lot of discussions have held on in the revenue allocation and it is unfortunate that we are still operating a revenue allocation formula that was last reviewed in 1992.
“As we look forward to a new revenue allocation formula, we hope that you come out with something that is fair, justifiable and equitable. But, the challenge is that when you have done all the work, you will eventually send your report to the President who ought to send it to the National Assembly.
“There is a challenge there and there has always been because our laws ensure that the President lays the recommendations of RMAFC before the National Assembly.”
Okowa, therefore, urged the National Assembly to do the right thing, because “a nation is a nation and a federation is a federation with units and we must have justice and fairness.”
Earlier, Delta State representative in RMAFC, Andrew Agbaga, commended Okowa for his good governance, which had culminated in an improved standard of education, youth entrepreneurship programmes and infrastructure development, among others.
He said the law empowered RMAFC to review the revenue allocation formula from time to time in line with changing realities, adding that the revenue formula ought not to be in force for more than five years, but regretted that all previous attempts to review the formula in the past 28 years had failed.
The state Commissioner for Finance, Fidelis Tilije, who said Delta was a special state with over 20 cities and robust commercial activities, urged RMAFC to strive towards arriving at the indices that would dovetail into the computation of an appropriate revenue allocation formula to the states.