The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) says it will begin public hearings on the review of the revenue sharing formula on October 3, starting with the South West geopolitical zone.
The chairman of the commission, Elias Mbam, disclosed this on Tuesday, in Abuja, when the commission paid a courtesy call on the leadership of the House of Representatives.
According to him, “on Monday we are going to start the public hearing with the South West zone, we appeal to state governors to attend”.
He said that it was imperative to look at the objectives and subject of the revenue formula, which he described as long overdue.
Mbam said views on the new formula for sharing would also be sourced through a questionnaire, while urging the leadership of the House to assist the commission in letting people know the objectives of their mission.
He said that the last time a review of revenue sharing took place was in 1999, stressing that the commission felt strongly that the review had become necessary because many things had changed.
“There are some concerns such as security, environmental degradation, and erosion; so there is need to look at the sharing formula to ensure that what every tier of government gets is in line with their needs.
“This is a process and the end will determine it. We cannot do this without seeking advice from the leadership of the House,” he stated.
He said that the review of the revenue formula often took a process which was what happened after independence, adding that the commission would carry out extensive sensitisation and public hearing in the six geopolitical zones to ensure that everyone was carried along so that what it could come up with would be an equitable and acceptable formula.
“Your input and advice will go a long way. When we finish, we will bring our recommendation to the National Assembly for further legislative action,” he said.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila said that the commission remained one of unsung heroes in the country, because of its significance.
“You are carrying out an important job for reviewing the distribution formula of Nigeria’s wealth. It’s over 30 years now. We have to balance growth, bearing in mind that we operate a federal structure.
“You have your work cut out; it is not an easy job. For us in the House of Reps we will support you.
“I believe that embarking on this important assignment should not be based on sentiment or emotions, but statistics so that at the end of the day, your report will not be faulted,” he said.
He added that the House would be happy to do the amendment, while urging the commission to present a memo in a bid to strengthen its autonomy.