Reps to sanction RMAFC boss

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The House of Representatives would proceed with the
institution of sanctions against acting Chairman and Management of Revenue
Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Hon. Mark Gbillah
(PDP-Benue) has said.

Gbillah, who is the Chairman of the House ad hoc Committee
investigating data collection processes, maintenance and usage in RMAFC made
this known at a hearing on Tuesday in Abuja.

The chairman said that the committee was constituted in
January, 2018 but had not been unable to finish its work as RMAFC would not
comply with the demands of the committee.

He said that the committee had written to RMAFC several
times and there were various reasons why the commission would not respond to
the demands of the committee.

“The committee intended to prevail on the speaker to halt
the sanctions that had already been initiated against earring  institutions if they are not willing to
cooperate with the committee.

“But from what we are seeing today, I want to assure
Nigerians that the House of Representatives would proceed with the institution
of sanctions against the acting Chairman and management of RMAFC,” he said.

Gbillah said the commission had erred fundamentally to have
written to other agencies instructing them not to honour the invitation of the

The legislator said that by that action, RMAFC did not
respect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He said that the institution did not observe the principle
of the Rule of Law and thought they were above board.

The lawmaker said he wanted President Muhammadu Buhari and
all the supervising officers to know what the committee had been going through
with the commission in the last one year.

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He said the commission had degenerated to the extent of
writing to the Speaker of the house demanding the removal of the committee
chairman and casting all forms of aspersions on the committee.

He said the new National Minimum Wage is hinged on the
revenue that accrues to the states of the federation.

According to Gbillah, the committee was out to ensure an
equitable allocation of resources to the state and prevent any state from being

The chairman said that the RMAFC has been unable to come up
with a record and data to show that all the indices sent to the Accountant
General’s office are correct representation of their changing realities
envisaged by the Constitution.

He said the allegations against RMAFC before the National
Assembly had not been unproven as the commission would not cooperate with the

Gbillah said the house was left without any other option
than to engage the state and take far reaching actions against the commission.

Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas (APC-Adamawa) said the committee
could not afford to allow institutions vital to the investigation to hinder the
progress of the committee.

He said the commission writing to other agencies,
instructing them not appear before the committee should not be condoned and
serious actions should be taken.

Namdas said that the exercise was not a child’s play as
section 89 of the Constitution empowers the parliament to carry out
investigations and institutions must respect it.

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Also, Rep. Mohammed Usman (APC-Kaduna) said it was a sad day
for him as the parliamentarians were accused of not doing their job in the

According to him, here we are working for Nigerians and some
institutions do not want to support to make Nigeria great and better than it

He said there was no institution that was as significant to
the state and Local Government as the RMAFC.

Usman said besides Lagos state, no other state in the
country could function without revenue from the Federal Government.

He said it was sad that only three states out of 36 honoured
the invitation to attend a hearing bothering on revenue allocation.

The lawmaker said that the house must come out strongly as
Nigerians would not tolerate such sabotage.

Usman alleged that the right processes hardly works in the
RMAFC, alleging that some members of staff allocate monies at will and
illegally get a share of it.

According to the lawmaker, this is what necessitated the
petition which came to the floor of the house as a motion and the resolution to
investigate the matter and the institutions are not here.

The acting Director, Banking Services, Central Bank of
Nigeria (CBN) Mr Abubakar Kure said the CBN keeps custody of the Federation
account which is shared between the federal, states and local governments.

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He said that the CBN is also empowered to monitor the
inflows and the out flows of the account and to carry out reconciliation.

Kure said the CBN is not a revenue generating agency and
that the bank only keeps custody of the account.

He said on a monthly basis, all inflows are collated and
sent to the Office of the Account General of the Federation.

Kure said though the bank provides information and returns
on the account to RMAFC, it does not have an interface with the commission.

He also said that the commission had not demanded for any
returns of revenue collecting agencies from the bank in a very long time.

Also, Abdulazeez Mustafa, the Deputy Director, Revenue
Account Department, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said the service had
submitted all documents requested for by the committee.

He said that details of disbursements by the CBN to the FIRS
were also contained in the documents submitted to the committee.

He said there was no existing electronic interface between
FIRS and the RMAFC and that the details of all revenue generated by FIRS since
2014 to 2018 had be submitted to the committee.

Mustafa said that the issue of revenue sharing formular was
outside the scope of the mandate of the FIRS.

Institutions that failed to appear include the Nigerian
National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and
the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).

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