RMAFC: State Governors Laugh Last Over Proposed New Revenue Sharing Formula

 By Stephen Ubanna

Between 2020, and now, the governors of the 36 states of the Federation, under the umbrella, of the Nigerian Governors Form, NGF, had mounted severe pressure on the Leadership of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RM AFC, established   ‘’to handle  revenue allocation  and fiscal  matters’, for the country on a continuous basis, to force it to review of the current revenue  sharing formula between the three tiers of government: Federal, state and Local Governments levels, described as overdue for review.

Kayode Fayemi, governor of the south west state of Ekiti and Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, had said that  ‘’the review of the country’s current  revenue sharing Formula has become very imperative  because ‘’ the states bear heavier burden’’. He had said that the financial burden shouldered by the state governments  had made the subsisting revenue sharing formulae  which is lopsided in favaour of the Federal government to be  subjected to total  review with no hold bars.

Fayemi: NGF, Chairman And Governor of Ekiti State

The NGF Chairman, may have sent a message to President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General, that the states  may no longer  need handouts  from the Federal government to run their government  but would want to be allocated what is due to them   from the Federation Account  to properly  fund  primary/basic education, primary healthcare and provision  of infrastructural  facilities in their respective states. The Ekiti governor noted that most of the governors had undertaken the rehabilitation of Federal roads in their states for which refunds were never refunded as agreed despite assurances by the Katsina state born Nigerian President.

Note that the current revenue sharing Formula  of the country had given  the Federal  52.68, states, 26.72% and  the balance of 20.60% , allocated to the 774 Government Areas of the Federation. In addition , the oil producing states  of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Abia, Imo and  Rivers,   were  allocated  13%  of the revenue  as derivation  to Compensate  for ecological  degradation  caused  by oil  production  in the Niger Delta region.

Elias Mba, the Chairman of RMAFC, may have gotten the message of the governors right that he had given his words that  a new revenue sharing formula between the  three levels of government will be ready   before the expiration of the Buhari Administration in 2023.  This may have forced him and his Commissioners to  go back to the drawing board to produce a new revenue sharing formula between the Federal, states and Local government levels to replace the old one that had been in use over the last 28 years.

 The Nigerian President may have saved the leadership of the RMAFC, the troubles of looking on how to settle the oil Producing states with the signing of the  Petroleum Industry bill , into Law. The  bill which had been split into four comprising of the Petroleum  Industry bill,  Fiscal Regime bill,  Upstream and Midstream  Administration bill  including the  Petroleum Host Communitie bill  may have  looked into the Compensation to the oil producing Communities without pressure on the Federation  account. The PIB, had approved a three percent allocation of the operating Cost of the oil producing Companies to the Petroleum bearing host Communities.

Given that the Petroleum bearing states have no derivation allocation from the Federation account any longer,may have informed why the Leadership  of the RMAFC, had released the proposed new revenue Formula between the three tiers of government.

Given an insider information of the proposed new Revenue sharing Formula for the Federal, state and Local governments,  Mba, the RMAFC boss, had said  that the Commission had proposed  52.6% for the Federal government , 26.7% for the states and the balance 20.6% for the 774 Local government Areas, across the country, to the National Assembly for Approval and which in turn would be signed into Law, by the Nigerian President  before it will be put to use.

An elated, RMAFC, Chairman, is optimistic that the proposed new Revenue sharing Frmula, will go a long way ’’to address’the issues  of poor infrastructure , ecological challenges and the series of agitations for a review by the state governors over the years.

 He may have gladdened the heart of the governors when he said   that the proposed new   Revenue sharing Formula btween the  three levels of  government : Federal, state and Local governments,  will be implemented   by the end of this  21 , 28 years , after the Commission had conducted a review of it.

Informed sources told The Value News that that Commission has programmed to completethe review process by the end of 2021.   Aware of the fact that a review of the propose new Revenue sharing formula will be incomplete without inputs from other Nigerians may have encouraged the RMAFC  Leadership, to have asked the people to be part  of the current exercise ‘’ by making relevant  inputs  that will further enrich  the exercise’’.

Note that members of the RMAFC,  Committee that are , reviewing the old Revenue sharing Formula, which was last reviewed in 1993, during Obasanjo’s Administration are drawn from  the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. Mba, who is the Chairman of the Committee, may have been involved in formulation of the proposed new Revenue sharing policy between the three tiers of government in his capacity as the Chairman of RMAFC.

Perhaps, to ensure the full participation of the Nigerian in the review of the Old revenue sharing formula process, way have facilitated  the RMAFC, sensitizsation Campaign with  Victor Eboigbe, a Federal Commissioner  in the Commission, at the instance of Mba, the Chairman, paying a visit to Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state as a prelude to visiting other states of the Federation and the FCT. He was said to have told the south-south  geo-political region governor that they have no cause to worry about the proposed new revenue sharing formula as it is ’’ people- oriented’’  He had said  that the Commission embarked on the sensitization Campaign  ‘’to aggregate  and mop up the views of Nigerians by interacting  with them at different levels and evolve a new, fair, just and equitable revenue sharing formulae’’.     

The RMAFC, helmsman may have opened up on the membership of the Committee when he opined that as at August 8, 2021,  32 states of the federation and the FCT, excluding  the north west state of Bauchi,  north central state of Kogi and south east states of Enugu and Imo,  are yet to send their  own Representative, fueling speculations making the rounds that the Committee sitting   may drag on for months to  to accommodates  yet to send Representatives  to do so.

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