President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday presided over the regular meeting of the Federal Executive Council ( FEC), the federal government’s body that formulates policies for execution by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies ( MDAs).
The meeting did not hold last week, even though no official reason was advanced for its cancellation.
The President on Wednesday swore in the new Chairman of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission ( RMAFC), Muhammad Shehu, who succeeds Elia Mbam, who recently resigned to contest the 2023 Ebonyi governorship race.
Speaking with state house journalists after taking his oath of office, Shehu, explained why the new revenue allocation formula, which the Commission successfully submitted in February 2022, has not come into effect.
“ We have submitted our report to Mr President. What he stated at that time was that he was waiting to see what the National Assembly will do in terms of looking at the concurrent list and exclusive list and constitutional amendment.
“If he is satisfied with what the National Assembly has done, he will forward a recommendation and make it an Act so that it becomes a law”
Shehu, stated that there was need to expedite action on the new revenue allocation formula, which he said “had not been touched for about 29 years”.
This is despite the Constitutional provisions that the formula be reviewed after every five years period, depending on the circumstances of the country.
He described his new assignments as “challenging”.
“We all know the situation that Nigeria is, or even globally when you look at contemporary African countries like South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, Egypt, including Nigeria and all the economic issues that are facing including them,” he said.
“We have had the COVID-19, we had a recession, we now have the war with Ukraine, which has affected many countries and revenues are down all over.”
Shehu said he will prioritize revenue mobilization to assist Mr President, to get more revenue for the Federation, as well as block leakages.
“ The constitutional responsibility of the Commission, of course, are, monitoring of accruals, to Federation account and disbursement, and also monetization, taking care of the salaries of political office holders, and judicial officers, as enshrined in the Constitution that had not been reviewed since 2008. And I think there is agitation for that.
He disclosed that the agency is also intensifying monitoring of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, Ministry of Finance, customs, and NNPC, adding that “those are a huge task for the committee. And of course, don’t forget that revenue mobilization is also a statutory member in the joint tax board, local government joint account”
“Our task is how we can get more revenue for Mr President.
“So my task is to get our members to respond to the task that Mr. president gave them in 2019 when he swore in the new board which is for them to try as much as possible to get more revenue and strengthen our monitoring mechanism.
“That is what we are going to do with all the stakeholders, FiRS and NNPC, Federal Ministry of Finance, every revenue generating agency, we have to collaborate to be able to assist Mr President to get more revenue before he leaves office. This is a task that should be done by every meaningful member of the commission”.