Reps urge Buhari to send new revenue formula to N’Assembly
Defend grading of committees
THE House of Representatives has urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to as a matter of urgency forward a new revenue allocation formula for the federation, that would reflect current realities to the National Assembly, for consideration and passage.
This followed the adoption of a motion introduced on the floor yesterday by Rotimi Agunsoye, calling for a new revenue allocation formula in compliance with the constitutional requirement of regular review at interval of five years.
The House also yesterday defended its decision and gave reasons why the leadership of the lower chamber categorized its recently-announced committees into grades A, B and C .
This comes against the backdrop of allegations that the Yakubu Dogara-led selection committee allocated so-called ‘juicy committees’ to loyalists of the Speaker when the House constituted the 96 standing panels unveiled recently.
Agunsoye had argued that the effectiveness of the subsisting allocation formula, which he said was over 30 years old would be doubtful to reflect the realities in relation to the financial needs of the three tiers of government, recalling that the current formula being used was enacted in 1982, and amended in 1992 long before the coming into force of the 1999 Constitution.
He said; “Section 162(2) of the Constitution requires the President, on recommendation of the Revenue Mobilzation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), to submit a proposal for a new revenue allocation formula to the National Assembly for consideration and passage into law.
Speaking on the motion, Tahir Monguno while agreeing that there may have been substantial non-compliance with the law, said rather than pass a resolution to urge compliance, the courts should be approached to obtain an order of mandamus to force compliance.
But Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamilla opposed the suggestion, citing sections 88 and 89 of the Constitution which gave the parliament the powers to ask questions, pointing out that many of the bases upon which the review is expected to be carried out by the parliament may have changed over the years.
Fielding questions at a news conference in Abuja, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Jonathan Gaza explained that such grading was for administrative convenience following adequate consultations with the House leadership.
He disclosed that all the standing committee chairmen as well as their deputies will be officially inaugurated at a joint ceremony at the National Assembly on Monday, by the Speaker assisted by other principal officers.
Gaza flayed members who last week rejected their chairmanship appointments on account of status, saying that lawmakers were “all elected as nationalists to come and serve and to move the country forward.
“If you are given a committee and for some reasons you feel that you cannot operate adequately in that capacity and resign, definitely someone that is equally suited will be given. What we are doing here is legislation, not for ourselves but for the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Nigeria comes first.