A long overdue new income distribution formula

By Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The federal government said a new income distribution formula for the country was long overdue, but reiterated that it must be based on constitutionally assigned functions.

This is even if he applauded the national consultation which made it possible to obtain the opinion of as many Nigerians, committees and stakeholders as possible to ensure that the exercise had a very responsive outcome for Nigerians. .

It comes at a time when the Niger Delta region opposes the alleged plot by some federal lawmakers to end the 13 percent oil bypass, describing it as an invitation to anarchy.

Recall that no less than 59 members of the Northern House of Representatives have reportedly sponsored a bill to remove Article 162, subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

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The section in question concerns the management of the “Federation account”, in particular subsection 2 stipulates among other things:

“The President, after consulting the Commission for the mobilization of revenue and allocation of finances, submits proposals to the National Assembly for the allocation of revenue from the Federation Account, and to determine the formula, the National Assembly takes into account, the principles of allocation, in particular those of population, equality of States, generation of internal income, land mass, land as well as population density;

“Provided that the principle of derivation is constantly reflected in any formula approved as representing no less than thirteen percent of the income generated by the Federation Account from any natural resource.” “

Federation government secretary Boss Mustapha said the review was overdue on Friday when the chairman of the Revenue and Taxation Mobilization Commission (RMFAC) Elias Mbam led a delegation to his office in Abuja.

Mustapha, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Project, SGF Office, Habiba Lawal expressed the hope that the income allocation review exercise will be successfully concluded.

Mustapha told the RMFAC delegation that “first and foremost, I want to join you in appreciating the fact that a new income distribution formula is long overdue. I think this is something that we also agree with you, but it has been a long time.

“And it’s good that we have this exercise now. And we hope that this exercise will come to a complete conclusion so that we have a complete one.

“In a related vein, I have also observed the activity and consultation taking place in all states of the Federation, to get input from as many Nigerians as possible, committees and stakeholders. to ensure that this exercise has a very responsive outcome for many of us Nigerians.

SGF also stressed the importance that any income distribution formula be based on constitutionally assigned functions.

According to him, the funds should be placed where the responsibilities say “and I think you also observed this or you committed to this in your statement. So we look forward to this happening as part of the key element of the new exercise. “

Mustapha, however, said that full or justified constitutional reform is fundamental, because it is within the framework of constitutional reform that the functions of different types of government can be clearly stated.

He said “and the responsibility for the destination of funds will then be able to link the two at the sub-national levels.

“However, it is agreed that we are due for this. And the Office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation assures you of its support and commitment throughout the exercise of the new revenue allocation formula.

He also affirmed the commitment that the point of view of the federal government will be shared.

“In this way, the Office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation will be fully represented and will be able to share what the Federal Government believes can be adopted for the moment.

“But we believe that a full and comprehensive reform should go through an appropriate and comprehensive constitutional reform that distributes responsibilities.

“So funding should be based on responsibility, and in this way we think it will be more appropriate and a fairly more justified income distribution formula, where responsibilities are followed by funding, so that we can we pay it, ”he added.

For his part, the chairman of the commission said he is still awaiting contributions from the federal government regarding the revision of the income allocation formula.

He said the Commission has obtained relevant data from the relevant agencies to use in the review process.

According to him, studies on tax issues relating to the distribution of the federation’s income are being carried out by the commission saying that all these studies aim to ensure that the new income formula will be fair, just and equitable.

“We are still awaiting input from the federal government with respect to the review. The federal government is a critical stakeholder and its views and opinions are indispensable in the review exercise, ”he added.

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