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By NBF News
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Newly appointed commissioners of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) yesterday, in Abuja, vowed to review existing revenue-sharing formula which has been in existence since the military era.

Addressing the commissioners of the commission, Chairman of RMAFC, Mr. Elias Mbam, said he was going to set up a standing committee on a new revenue-sharing formula after which a recommendation ould be made to the president for onward transmission to the National Assembly.

Before now, the Federal Government got 52.68 per cent of the revenue while state governments got 26.72 per cent and the local governments shared 20.60 per cent whereas the oil-producing states get 13 per cent of the mineral revenue.

'I intend to establish a standing committee immediately on a new revenue-sharing formula. When we do that, then we will be able to advise Mr. President and make recommendations for onward transmission to the National Assembly for their consideration. That will be one of our major assignments in the near future.

'So, we quite agree that the one we are using has been quite old and in fact, right from the military time. So, it is time we really reviewed the sharing formula. So, we will really look at it again and be sure that we are fair, just and honest in what we do and then in providing a new revenue formula which will be acceptable and fair to all Nigerians,' he said.

Mbam also spoke on the jumbo pay of political office-holders, saying the commissioners were very new to dabble into the issue of jumbo salaries. He, however, promised that as soon as they were well briefed, they would take appropriate actions.

'Actually, today is our first meeting. We really need to be briefed first before we enter into issues that have a lot of implications. So, we did not discuss issues of pay package or jumbo salaries. But what I can assure you is that I have directed that the management provides me with a brief and once I study the brief, we shall take necessary actions to take the whole issue holistically. And that is when I will be in a better position to tell you what we do and how we are doing it,' he said, adding that the national budget was part of the responsibility of the commission.

According to him, the commission had the constitutional duty to advise the Federal Government, state and local governments on fiscal efficiency.

'That includes we must make input in budget preparation. That has been the constitutional function of the commission and that has always been done,' the chairman explained. He noted that the agenda of the new commission was to diversify the sources of revenue from oil, gas, taxes, customs duty and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

'Basically, these are the sources of revenue. We are going to expand the sources. We are going to look at other sources. In other words, we will be so much concerned with diversification. We are going to diversify the sources of revenue. I am going to create a standing committee on diversification to take care of this so that we get other sources that will now accrue revenue to the federation account,' Mbam said. He, however, assured that all revenues accruing to the federation account must be accounted for because, according to him, all the leakages in the economy must be blocked.

'The basic thing that we do is, one, to ensure that all revenues accruable to the federation account is accounted for.

In other words, we should ensure that all possible leakages are closed. We will also ensure that right from the point of collection that all revenues are completely collected and accounted for up to the point of distribution to the three tiers of government. So, the leakages, we will stop it and expand the sources of revenue,' he further reiterated.