Reflect diversity in revenue formula, Shagari urges RMAFC

A former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, has urged the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission to reflect the country’s diversity in determining a new revenue allocation formula.

Shagari gave the advice in Sokoto on Thursday when he received members of the commission who were on a consultation visit, according to a statement issued by Head of Public Relations, RMAFC, Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed.

The former President was quoted to have said the principles of equity, fairness and justice were the only means of taking care of the diverse interests of the constituent parts of the country.

He said the commission must strive to come up with an acceptable formula that would be fair to all in the distribution and equitable application of the revenues accruing to the nation.

To achieve this, Shagari advised RMAFC to continue to consult widely across the broad spectrum of the Nigerian society in order to promote a buy-in by all stakeholders.

Speaking at the ceremony, the RMAFC Chairman, Mr. Elias Mbam, said the commission was committed to ensuring an all-inclusive process that would ensure the emergence of a just, fair and equitable revenue allocation formula.

Members of the commission had earlier paid similar visits to former leaders, including General Yakubu Gowon, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

The visits to the former leaders are part of the advocacy and mass mobilisation campaign for the revenue formula review exercise.

State governments had through their forum been clamouring for the early completion of work on a new revenue formula. They had in January 2012 hinged their support for the removal of subsidy on petroleum products on the formulation of a new revenue sharing formula.

The revenue sharing formula, which has remained a controversial subject in the Nigerian federation, refers to the proportion of resources accruing to the federation that goes to each of the three tiers of government.

It also defines the proportion of resources that must be retained in the territories where they are generated as well as what goes to the agencies of government that collect the revenues on behalf of the federation.

Under the current formula, the Federal Government gets 52.68 per cent of all revenue accruing to the federation. The state governments get 26.72 per cent, while the local government councils get 20.6 per cent.

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