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States not thinking of ways to increase revenue –RMAFC chair

The Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Elias Mbam, on Wednesday, lambasted the 36 state governments and the 774 local government areas in the country for not thinking of new ways to generate revenue for the Federation.

He spoke as a guest on NTA’s ‘Good Morning Nigeria’ breakfast programme.

According to Mbam, governors and local government chairmen should stop agitating for new revenue allocation formula but focus on how to increase the “cake”.

Of recent, state governors and local government chairmen have clamoured for a review of the current revenue allocation formula which they claimed was against fiscal federalism as it allocated more to the central than to the subnationals.

Currently, the Federal Government gets a total of 52.68%, states get 26.72% while LGs get 20.60% of the country’s monthly revenue allocated by the RMAFC which operates under the Presidency, and disbursed by the Federation Account Allocation Committee.

Speaking on the television programme on Wednesday, the RMAFC boss said landmass, population size and the duties of each of the three tiers of government are important factors to be considered in determining a new revenue allocation formula for the country.

Mbam said the last review was done in 1992 and a new review of the sharing formula has not been possible till date because of lack of political will and over-politicisation of the matter.

He, however, expressed optimism that a new revenue allocation formula would be submitted to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on or before December 31, 2021.

The RMAFC boss also said the Commission won’t wait for the outcome of the ongoing process for constitutional review and amendment in the National Assembly before going on to submit its recommendations to the President before the end of 2021 because, according to him, nobody knows when the lawmakers would be through with the process.

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