President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in Mr Mohammed Bello as the Chairman of Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
The oath taking took place on Wednesday just before the hybrid Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the ceremony, the chairman assured that the commission would assist the Buhari administration to get more revenue for the Federation, block leakages and implement its constitutional responsibilities.
He listed the constitutional responsibilities as monitoring of accruals into the Federation Account and disbursement, monetization, taking care of the salaries of political office holders, and judicial officers as enshrined in the Constitution which he noted has not been reviewed since 2008.
Bello said: “The task is challenging. We all know the situation that Nigeria is, or even globally, when you look at contemporary African countries like South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, Egypt, all the economic issues that are facing including Nigeria.
“We had the COVID-19, we had recession, we now have the war with Ukraine, which has affected many countries and revenues are down all over.
“So our task, as revenue mobilization is how we can assist Mr. President, to get more revenue for the Federation, block leakages, looking at the constitutional responsibility of the Commission which of course are monitoring of accruals to Federation account and disbursement, and also monetization, taking care of the salaries of political office holders, and judicial officers, as enshrined in the Constitution that had not been reviewed since 2008. And I think there is agitation for that.
“And also, from time to time, come up with a new revenue allocation formula, which the commission successfully did in February this year, and we have submitted our report to Mr. President.
“Revenue allocation formula have not been touched for about 29 years, the Constitution says after a period of five years it can be reviewed.
“And also our other responsibility, like monitoring of Central Bank of Nigeria, Ministry of Finance, Customs, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), those are huge task for the commission.
“Of course, don’t forget that revenue mobilization is also a statutorily member in the Joint Tax Board, local government joint account, ecological fund and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“Our task is how we can get more revenue for Mr. President. I know there is a lot of debate on whether there is operating surplus, like some of the agencies of government will claim that what they are getting is surplus of revenue. Revenue is revenue as far as the commission is concerned.
“So, my task is to get our members respond to the task that Mr. President gave them in 2019, when he swore in the new board that try as much as possible to get more revenue and strengthen your monitoring mechanism.”
Bello also said: “That is what we are going to do with all the stakeholders Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Federal Ministry of Finance, every revenue generating agency, we have to collaborate to be able to assist Mr. President get more revenue before he leaves office.
“This is a task that should be done by every meaningful member of the commission.”
Persecondnews reports that Vice- President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan and other ministers are attending virtually from their various offices in Abuja.
Those physically present at the meeting include the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and the National Security Adviser, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Mungonu.
Also present are the Ministers of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Justice, Abubakar Malami;
Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite; Niger Delta, Umana Umana; Power, Abubakar Aliyu; Sports, Sunday Dare; Water Resources, Suliaman Adamu; and Science and Technology, Olorunibe Mamora.
Others are ministers are Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello; Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Agriculture, Mohammed Abubakar; Mines and Steel Development; Olamilekan Adegbite and Minister of State Education, Goodluck Opia.