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House of Reps: Current revenue sharing formula illegal

An ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives on Friday described the current revenue allocation formula in the country as illegal on account that it didn’t receive the approval of the National Assembly.

The committee, which is headed by a member of the All Progressives Congress from Benue State, Mr. Mark Terseer-Gbillah, is investigating data collection processes, maintenance and usage by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

Under the current sharing formula, the Federal Government takes the lion’s share of 52.68 per cent from the Federation Account. The 36 states take 26.72 per cent, while the balance of 20.60 per cent is given to the 774 local governments in the country.

Over time, the formula has generated controversies and remains a key factor in the clamour for true federalism.

Speaking at a pre-public hearing session with the acting Chairman of RMAFC, Mr. Shettima Abba-Gana, at the National Assembly, Terseer-Gbillah said the legislature would continue to oppose the revised sharing formula on the grounds of its non-approval by the parliament.

Abba-Gana had told the committee that RAMAFC indeed reviewed the sharing formula as a statutory duty and sent its report to the Presidency, saying the formula had been updated.

He added that the Presidency was expected to forward the report to the parliament. He, however, said he could not authoritatively say whether or not it was submitted to the National Assembly for approval.

The committee members promptly described the formula as “illegal”, arguing that there was no evidence that such an approval was obtained from the National Assembly.

Teseer Mark-Gbillah spoke further, “What this means is that the current revenue allocation formula is illegal and unconstitutional because it is not backed by law. If it is true that you got it across to the President, then it should have been here by now.

“Members were also alarmed that in spite of the important nature of RMAFC’s work, the agency was still collecting data manually from the 36 states and local governments for processing, with little or no Information and Communications Technology input.”


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