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Reps set to enforce revenue sharing powers

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The House of Representatives is set to enforce its power to review revenue sharing formula as a bill for the amendment of Section 162 (2) scaled second reading on Tuesday. The matter came up for deliberation during the first plenary of the second session of the 7th Assembly.

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The  'bill for an Act to alter the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 in Section 162 (2) to provide for the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission's  (RMFAC) to table directly before the National Assembly the commission's proposals for revenue allocations was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers.

Sponsor of the bill, the Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, Albert Sam-Tsokwa, said the current arrangement that allows for five year review among other provisions has given too much room for interested party's interference and bureaucratic procedure. 

According to him, the option given to the commission to present the proposal to the President before being forwarded to the National Assembly by the President was erroneous.

In his contribution, Chairman, House Committee on Finance, john Enoh, noted that it was unfortunate for the House not to have reviewed the revenue sharing formula since 1999 contrary to constitutional provision that stipulates five year review by the legislators.

"It is unfortunate that the House has not debated the distribution of the revenue since 1999. It is a shame but I can assure that the RMFAC is ready and willing to present its proposals to the NASS if mandated to do so," he added.

 Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who emphasized that "something has to change" noted that the concept of true federalism has been negated by the current arrangement whereby the Federal government takes too much compared to the other tiers of government. 

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