Reps to Buhari: present new revenue allocation formula …… NATION

To match Interview NIGERIA-BUHARI/

•House wants adequate security for public schools
•Panel to consider Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill

President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised to, as a matter of urgency, submit a proposal on a new Revenue Allocation Formula to the House of Representatives.

The lawmakers said the formula presently in use for allocating funds from the Federation Account to the federal, state and local governments is outdated.

As contained in the present formula, 52.68 is allocated to the  Federal Government in the Federation Account , 26.70 is for states and 20.60 for local government areas.

The lawmakers’ resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Rotimi Agunsoye (APC, Lagos), who noted that the formula being used by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMFAC) was enacted in 1982 and amended in 1992 before the 1999 Constitution came into force.

He said: “It is worrisome that the effectiveness of the current applicable formula, which is over 30-year-old, would appear doubtful to reflect the realities facing the financial needs of the three tiers of government.

“It is observed that the provision in the 1992 Act, which prescribes for the deduction of various percentages totalling about 7.5 per cent, which is referred to as ‘Special Fund’, has been adjudged unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

“Section 162 (2) of the constitution requires the President, on recommendation of RMFAC, to submit a proposal for a new Revenue Allocation Formula, in line with contemporary realities, poses frequent financial threats and hardships in the fiscal relationship between the three tiers of government, creating imbalance and loopholes of uncertainty in the federal structure.”

The motion was unanimously adopted after it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

Also yesterday, the Federal Government was asked by the lawmakers to put in place a more comprehensive and effective security surveillance and strategy in all public primary and secondary schools, especially those operating boarding system.

They urged Buhari to remember the promise of one free meal per school child he made in the build-up to the 2015 presidential election.

On the abduction of about 276 girls by Boko Haram insurgents in April 2014, the House noted that efforts being made by the Nigerian military and other security agencies to locate and free the girls from captivity have so far not yielded positive results.

The decision of the lawmakers followed the adoption of a motion by Yakubu Balogun (APC, Lagos), who regretted that the abduction of the girls occurred due to lack of adequate or absence of security measures to protect them from such dastardly act.

The lawmakers also yesterday moved to reconsider the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill, 2015 by committing it to the Committee of the Whole for consideration.

The bill, which seeks to allow all Nigerians, to aspire and achieve in all fields of endeavour irrespective of their gender, was passed by the Seventh House.

Legislative work on the Bill is to resume in the Eighth House.

The decision of the House was sequel to the passage of a motion sponsored by a member, Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (PDP, Abia), and 20 other lawmakers.

The government was also told yesterday by the House to introduce micro-irritation system to farmers, to enable an all year round cultivation of crops.

The resolution stemmed from the adoption of the prayers of a motion titled: “Call for the introduction of Micro Irrigation (Drip Irrigation) For Farmers in Gombi/ Hong Federal Constituency in Adamawa State and other parts of Nigeria,” sponsored by Yusuf Baba Yakubu.