Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has charged newly inaugurated chairman and members of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to drive the necessary process to mobilise more funds from the non-oil sector in the face of serious shortfall in earnings occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, stated this while speaking on the expectations from chairmen and members of Federal Character Commission (FCC), Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) and Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation And Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), after their inauguration by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.
The members were inaugurated in a group of five each.
In May, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ms. Zainab Ahmed, had announced that Nigeria’s oil revenue target fell by N125.52 billion in the first quarter (Q1 2020) to N940.91 billion.
She attributed the shortfall to the double whammy of the headwind caused by COVID-19 and the slump in oil price due to a sharp drop in demand and price war between two powerful producers, Russia and Saudi Arabia, representing a 31 per cent of the prorated oil revenue target.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) also showed inflation hitting a two-year high at 12.34 per cent. The World Bank in May also projected that based on its assessment of Nigeria’s economy, the country would plunge into a recession.
Speaking to journalists at the end of the ceremony, which also had Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Abdulrahma, Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and other ministers, the SGF said Buhari urged all three commissions to take their constitutional responsibilities seriously so that the administration will deliver on its ‘Next Level’ agenda to Nigerians.
“We have just spent a year and we have three years to go, but there are so many things that we want them to begin to do in terms of reenergising the system. The Federal Character Commission particularly has the responsibilities in the constitution which is very fundamental to ensure equitable distribution, of not only offices, but even of amenities and benefits and welfare to the people of the country. RMAFC is very critical, particularly now that we have very serious shortfall in our earnings. The essence of the revenue mobilisation is to look at the non-oil sector particularly in terms of mobilising revenue for the country. I believe that now that they have full compliment of their membership, they should be able to give it the necessary drive. The Federal Character Commission is an institution that has the responsibility of looking at the federal civil service in terms of employment, promotion, capacity and we need a new civil service to take us to the next level,” Mustapha said.
Federal commissioner, representing Enugu, Ginika Tor and Abiodun Akinlade representing Ogun State, assured they would ensure that what is due to the people get to them in accordance with the mandate of the commission as enshrined in the constitution.
Members of RMAFC sworn-in are Ahmed Yusuf, Taraba; Bello Wamakko,Sokoto; Oladele Gboyega,Osun; Adamu Dibai, Borno; Alfred Egba, Bayelsa and Hajiya Salamatu Bala, Adamawa.