RMAFC: CBN, NNPC to lose power to spend without approval

By The Rainbow

By the time the new constitution is ready, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), amongst other similar agencies must submit their submit their expenditures to approval of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).

By implication, these agencies are to  lose their self-accounting status after the constitution review.

This  is part of the recommendations made by the  RMAFC to National Assembly in  the ongoing constitutional review.

The fiscal commission, according to its chairman, Mr. Elias Mbam,  has asked the National Assembly to repeal all laws giving some agencies power to be self-accounting.

He said that such that the practice by such agencies of generating money and spending it with anybody's approval runs counter to the spirit of  probity.

Mbam spoke during an interactive session with media executives in Lagos on Friday.
While disclosing that the draft of new revenue sharing formula among the statutory drawers from the federation account may be up and running by December, the chairman of the commission said that the current constitutional provision guiding the operations of the commission made it a toothless bulldog.

According to him, the commission is only empowered to advise the president on the sharing formula, with nothing binding on the president to act on the advice.

He, however, noted that since the process would not end with the president but the National Assembly, there was the hope that the imminent new sharing formula would sail through.

It was revealed that the commission had tabled a lot of constitutional issues before the National Assembly for amendments, to make it more independent to deliver on its mandate.

'I have the honour to inform Nigerians that all things being equal, the commission will, in line with the law, forward an advice on a new revenue sharing formula to the President in December 2013 for onward transmission to the National Assembly.'

He also disclosed that representations had been made to the National Assembly for the abolition of the Joint State/Local Government Account.

To him, the continued existence of the controversial account was a confirmation of the lack of independence of the third-tier of government.

Among the new powers being sought by the commission from the ongoing constitution review, according to him, was the empowerment not to release monthly allocations to states that refused to conduct local government elections.

According to him, 'if a state doesn't conduct local government elections, we should withhold its monies. We hope National Assembly would give us such power.
States taking local government monies should also be suspended from the sharing.'