Sunday, 30 October 2011

Abolish joint states, LGs account –RMAFC

Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal
Commission, RMAFC, Engr. Elias
Mbam, weekend, recommended that the
Joint State and Local government
accounts (JAC) operational in most
states be abolished to ensure the
sovereignty of local government
administration in the country.
He pointed out that the measure would
forestall abuse of funds, especially by
state governments as allocations meant
for local government areas would go
directly to LG accounts without any
interference by state governments.
Mbam, who made the recommendation
while fielding questions from newsmen in
Abakaliki, assured Nigerians that a new
revenue allocation formula, which would
address the issue of land mass, population
density, equality of states among others,
would be presented to President Good luck
Jonathan next year for approval.
He said: “The Commission is of the view
that the Joint State Local Government
Account for local government should be
abolished. The local government should be
allocated funds directly in order to reduce
or forestall any possible abuse or leakages.
It is better.
“When I took office as the chairman, I
addressed Nigerians on the need for a
review of the revenue allocation formula
and I promised Nigerians of our
commitment to the review because it was
long overdue. I went further to constitute
a committee in that respect, and the
committee has commenced work.
“We are conscious of the sensitivity of the
assignment. We will make sure we do
detailed consultations, researches and
that is why it is taking quite some time. I
have promised the nation that the new
revenue allocation formula would be ready
for presentation to the President in the
first quarter of 2012.”
According to him, the commission is
working towards an amendment of the
constitution which would provide RMAFC
with the powers of not only allocating
funds to states but also monitor how they
were spent for the betterment of the
He stressed the need for state
governments to work assiduously towards
increasing their internally generated
revenue base, instead of depending solely
on allocation from the federal
government, adding that the commission
had started a process of sensitizing all the
geopolitical zones on the need for revenue
“Actually, that is what we are looking for
in the amendment of the constitution;
that the commission should be assigned
the responsibility that goes beyond just
allocating funds but on how the
monies are judiciously spent by the
receiving states.
“Unfortunately, the law is not what it
ought to be. You can only take the law on
what it ought to be after the law has been
amended. For now, the commission has
no right in line with the law to check any
government over what they are doing with
their statutory allocation.
“Our responsibility is to monitor all
accruals to and disbursement to the
federation account. In other words, we
make sure that all incoming revenues are
accounted for and that there is no
leakage. We make sure that each state is
credited in whatever is due to them.
And this is not good for this country. The
commission has started the process of
sensitizing the states and local
government on diversification and
enhanced revenue allocation. And in that
respect, the commission has scheduled to
carry out a workshop for all the
geopolitical zones of this country,” Mbam
He hinted that the major purpose behind
the review of the revenue allocation
formula was not meant to either increase
or decrease revenue allocation to both
states and LGAs but that the process and
findings of the commission would
determine what was due each tier of
government without bias.
He insisted that it was pertinent for the
revenue allocation formula of the country
to be reviewed as a matter of urgency,
considering some of the transformations
that had taken place in years gone by.
He also urged state governors to direct
their Commissioners of Finance to always
attend Federal Allocation Committee,
FAC, meetings in the interest of their
“However, we are not reviewing the
Revenue formula solely because we want to
allocate more monies to states and local
government areas of the country. In
allocating money, we look at the
responsibilities and apportion what we feel
would be reasonable for the discharge of
those responsibilities and that would
determine what would go to each tier of
“We are going to study similar federation
outside Nigeria who are practicing the
same type of federalism with us and find
out why their own is succeeding and why
are we having problem with our own. It is
when we have carried out these studies,
researches, collection of data, and
documentation that we can now establish
what is fair and equitable for each tier of
government,” he said.

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