The Nigeria Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC)
The Revenue Moblisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) was first established by the 1989 Constitution.
It is required to provide a systematic and institutional machinery for gathering data on the country’s revenue and the modalities for sharing the revenue among the different levels of government.
This is meant to correct the anomalies of the past whereby fiscal allocation commissions and other adhoc measures were introduced to deal with the recurring problem of revenue allocation in the country.
Aims and Objectives of Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation & Fiscal Commission
The major objectives of the commission are stated by the 1999 Constitution as follows:
- To monitor the receipt and disbursement of revenue from the Federation Account.
- To review from time to time, the revenue allocation formulae and principles in operation to ensure uniformity with changing realities provided any revenue allocation formula approved by an Act of the National Assembly is required to be in force for at least five years.
- To advise federal and state governments on fiscal efficiency and methods by which they can increase their revenue.
- To formulate appropriate remuneration package for important political office holders including the President, Vice President, Governors, Deputy Governors, Ministers, Commissioners, Special Advisers, legislators, etc.
The Commission consists of a Chairman and a representative of each state of the federation and the FCT, Abuja.
The commission has achieved some modest success since its establishment. The remunerations of top government officials are fixed based on its recommendations.
Before the expiration of its first five-year term in 2004, the commission submitted to the President its proposals on revenue sharing from the Federation Account. The sharing formula recommended in 2001 had been dropped after the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2002 that only the three tiers of government are constitutionally recognized beneficiaries of the Federation Account.
The National Assembly was unable to act on the proposal and a new one was presented to the legislature in August 2006.
Under the proposed revenue sharing formula, the Federal Government was to receive 47.19 percent, the States 31.10 percent, local governments 15.21 percent and special fund 6.50 percent.
Since the Federal Government has the final say on the disbursement of the special fund, it means the Federal Government has the lion share (%53.69) of the amount in the Federation Account.
It is not clear how the commission arrived at this formula. But whatever may the case, any allocation system that gives more than half of all national revenue to the federal government in a federal system is not fair to the federating units and may lead to increased centralization of governmental activities.
The commission has also failed to make public its position on the persistent agitation for resource control by the oil-producing states.
Does it support 50 percent derivation as demanded by the oil-producing states or 18 percent as recommended by the Mantu Committee of the National Assembly in 2006? The fact however remains that the Federal Government takes more than 50 percent of the amount in the Federation Account as at June 2012.
About Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC)
Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) was established by Decree No. 49 of 1989 and later amended by Decree 98 of 1993 (now RMAFC Act CAP R7 LFN 2004) under Section 153(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended), the Commission is listed as one of the fourteen (14) Federal Executive Bodies. It has a Chairman and Members from each State of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory appointed by the President.
Functions/Powers of the Commission
The functions of the Commission as provided under Paragraph 32(a-e) of Part I to the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) are as follows:
(a) monitor the accruals to and disbursement of revenue from the Federation Account;
(b) review, from time to time the revenue allocation formulae and principles in operation to ensure conformity with changing realities; Provided that any revenue formula which had been accepted by an Act of the National Assembly shall remain in force for a period of not less than five years from the date of commencement of the Act;
(c) advise the Federal and State Governments on fiscal efficiency and methods by which their revenue can be increased;
(d) determine the remuneration appropriate for political officeholders including the President, Vice President, Governor Deputy Governors, Ministers, Commissioners, Special Advisers, Legislators and the holders of the offices mentioned in Sections 84 and 124 of this Constitution; and
(e) discharge such other functions as are conferred on the Commission by this Constitution or any Act of the National Assembly.
Membership of Statutory Bodies
For the purpose of performing its functions, the Commission’s Act Cap R7 LFN, 2004 made the Commission a statutory Member of the following Bodies/Agencies:
(a) The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC);
(b) The State Joint Local Government Account Allocation Committee (SJLGAAC);
(c) The Joint Tax Board (JTB);
(d) The Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC; and
(e) The Commission on Ecological Fund;
Furthermore, the Act also empowers the Commission to demand and obtain regular and relevant information, data or returns from any Government Agencies including the following:
(a) The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC);
(b) The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS);
(c) The Board of Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS);
(d) The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); and
(e) The Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF)