RMAFC Seeks NASS Probe Of N1b Stabilisation Fund In CBN

No Comments » December 27th, 2008 posted by // Categories: Nigeriawatch



 

INDEPENDENT

December 28, 2008

RMAFC Seeks NASS Probe Of N1b Stabilisation Fund In CBN

By Otei Oham, Correspondent, Abuja

 

Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Hamman Tukur, has asked the National Assembly to institute an inquiry into how the Federal Government has so far expended the nation’s over N1 billion Stabilisation Fund lodged by the government in a special account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The existing revenue allocation formula in the country, Tukur said, provided for a Stabilisation Fund which should be based on 0.5 per cent of the Federation Account, stressing that if well run, the fund, which is in excess of one billion naira now, has the capacity to create and sustain a strong economy in the present as well as leave same for future generations.

In a paper entitled ‘The Federation Account and Consolidated Revenue Fund: Constitutional, Legal and Financial Perspectives’, delivered at a National Assembly forum in Abuja, Tukur said the operation of the Fund, domiciled in the CBN account, has been shrouded in secrecy, and yet to be accounted for by the government.

“The National Assembly should demand for the Stabilisation Fund as provided in the subsisting Revenue Allocation Formula Act, which is specifically set aside for this kind of situation.

“The National Assembly should always insist that the government declared all excess revenue saved in previous years, which has not been captured in the budget.

“The National Assembly and Federal Government should review the current practice of the NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) whereby the revenue of the quantity of 445,000pbd crude oil allocated for domestic consumption is only reported back into the Federation Account within 30 days as against the current 90 days.

“The government and the National Assembly should ensure that all unspent balances of any previous budget are properly accounted for,” he said.

Tukur frowned at poor collections and remittances of tax and other revenues by generating bodies, and said the situation accounted for the over N1 trillion deficits recorded in 2009 Budget estimates.

“By all indication, the Federal Government has demonstrated the fact that it is in distress. Because of the crashing crude oil price and dwindling crude oil production and poorly collected tax revenues, the 2009 Budget is hardly to be achieved unless the revenue profile improves.

“This is the more reason why the Federal Government presented a budget deficit of over one trillion naira in 2009.

“The cumulative effect would not be only felt by the Federal Government, but it would have a spiral effect on the states and local governments,” he dded.

 

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