The Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has written to the National Assembly seeking repeal of the laws establishing Federal Ministry of Finance and 31 revenue generating agencies, saying they were creation of the military and must be made to conform with democratic norms and practices.
The agencies are Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and Nigeria Security, Printing and Minting Corporation (NSPMC).
Others are Nigeria Export Processing Council, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigeria Postal Service (NPS), Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigeria Re-Insurance, Nigeria Environmental Standards and Regulatory Agency, National Clearing and Forwarding Agency, Nigeria Shippers Council, Nigeria Mining Corporation (NMC), National Sugar Development Agency, National Automobile Council, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, National Agency for Engineering Agency and Raw Materials Research and Development Council.
In a letter issued by its acting chairman, Mr. Shettima Umar Abba Gana, and exclusively made available to Thinkers Newspaper by a source at the RMAFC, the commission said the laws establishing the agencies contravene the provisions of Sections 1(3) and 162(1&10) of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Specifically, the commission raised concern over inability of the agencies to remit the revenues to the Federation Account, and urged the National Assembly to as a matter of urgency, compel them to comply with the provisions of the Constitution.
“These agencies are owned by the federation. They generate and collect huge sums which they retain and utilise and subsequently only remit their operating surplus to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the federal government as allowed by the various Acts establishing them and the Financial Regulation Act in conspicuous violations of constitutional provisions, specifically Sections 1(3) and 162(1&10). The Constitution stipulates that all revenues shall be remitted into the Federation Account with few exceptions like Personal Income Tax of Members of the Armed Forces and Police and also the residents of the Federal Capital Territory. “Moreover, these agencies were mostly setup during military administration and were financed from the common pool of the Federation.
They also administer assets such as land, seas, airwaves etc, belonging to the Federation in addition to having operational presence across several states of the country. These reasons are enough to justify that these agencies remit all their revenues to the Federation Account, and then submit their administrative/financial requirements to the National Assembly for appropriation,” the commission said.
The commission said it is not tenable for the agencies to be retaining their revenues and remitting only their operating surplus to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the federal government on the basis of the provisions of the Acts establishing them because Section 1(3) of the 1999 Constitution stipulates that: “If any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.”