From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, Wednesday, swore in the Chairman of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mohammed Bello, at the Council Chambers of the State House, ahead of the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting which he presided over.
Those physically present at the meeting which started at 10am included, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Mungonu (retd)
Also present are Ministers of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, and Justice, Abubakar Malami among others.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Head of Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan and other ministers are attending virtually from their various offices in Abuja.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after the brief ceremony, the RMAFC chairman, while admitting that the task ahead was challenging, assured that the Commission will assist the Buhari administration to get more revenue for the Federation, block leakages, implement the constitutional responsibility of the Commission, including monitoring of accruals to Federation account, disbursement and monetisation to take care of salaries of political office holders and judicial officers as enshrined in the Constitution.
Bello said: “The task is challenging. We all know the situation that Nigeria is in today and even globally, when you look at contemporary African countries like South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, Egypt, all the economic issues that are facing.
“We had COVID-19, we had recession, we now have the war in Ukraine, which has affected many countries and revenues are down all over. “So our task, as revenue mobilisation commission is how to assist Mr. President, to get more revenue for the Federation, block leakages, looking at the constitutional responsibility of the Commission, which of course are, monitoring of accruals to Federation account and disbursement, and also monetisation, 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 also, from time to time, come up with a new revenue allocation formula, which the commission successfully did, sometimes I think, in February this year, and 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 concurrent list and exclusive list and constitutional amendment. “If he’s satisfied with what the National Assembly does, he will forward a recommendation and make it an Act so that it becomes a law. “Revenue allocation formula had not been touched for about 29 years, the Constitution says after a period of five years it can be reviewed, looking at the circumstances of the country, you know, more states have been created.
“And also our other responsibility, like monitoring of Central Bank of Nigeria, Ministry of Finance, Customs, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), those are huge task for the Commission. And of course, don’t forget that revenue mobilisation is also a statutorily member in the Joint Tax Board, local government joint account, ecological fund and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).