The Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has said that if the proposed Finance Bill set for a public hearing on Tuesday is passed in its current state without proper amendments to some of the clauses, it will lead to revenue leakages, job losses and unnecessary litigations among other negative effects on the economy.
The Commission in a statement, on Monday, signed by its Chairman, Public Affairs and Communications Committee, Dr Rilwan Hussein Abarshi, said the Finance Bill will foreclose any form of checks and balances as envisaged by the 1999 constitution, whilst exposing government revenues to leakages as all under remittances or unremitted funds will not be checked by government agencies.
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‘‘The proposed amendment to S.68(1-6) of the FIRS Establishment Act and Section 4(1-3) of the Finance (Control and Management Act if passed; will infringe on the constitutional mandate of monitoring accrual into the Federation Account as well as revenue payable into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), the Board of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF and other revenue-generating agencies,” he said.
RMAFC is a federal government agency constitutionally empowered by paragraph 32(a-e) part 1 to the Third Schedule of the 1999 constitution (as amended) among others; to monitor all revenue accruals to and disbursement of revenue into the Federation Account.
While the FIRS is saddled with the responsibility of collection of tax revenues on behalf of the federal government.
RMAFC said if passed as it is, the Finance Bill may lead to job cuts as its employees as well as over 500 consultants will be thrown into the labour market.
“With so many employees and over 500 consultants on the wage bill of the Commission for the third phase of the project which covers MDA’s and private companies; the monitoring duties of Commission’s staff, livelihoods of these Nigerians hang on the balance if this ludicrous bill sees the light of day,’’ he added.
The agency called on the leadership of the national assembly and other lawmakers to objectively look at the grey areas that may adversely affect its constitutional mandate and address them in the interest of the nation.
It also sought the intervention of the presidency, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the Minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed.