The controversial jumbo packages being enjoyed by political office holders in the country as well as the contentious concession granted to Bayelsa State to enjoy special derivation funds in the last two months may form the agenda at the first meeting of the newly appointed members of the Revenue Mobilisation allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) which comes up on Monday, December 20, 2010.
The Economic Confidential, the online intelligent journal gathered that while the Presidency is not responsible for the jumbo remuneration package, it (the Presidency) is concerned that President Goodluck Jonathan might have been misled into approving the special derivation funds that have been allocated to Bayelsa in the last two months.
The RMAFC is constitutionally empowered to determine the remuneration packages of public officers as well as revenue allocation to all tiers of government including indices for the disbursement to each states and local councils in the country.
The tenure of the new Commission which is chaired by Engr. Elias Mbam commenced on December 1, 2010 after passing the screening by the Senate on November 22, 2010.
Because of the controversy and agitations from other states, the newly appointed board of RMAFC may deliberate on the presidential concession granted to Bayelsa State which made the state to earn derivation fund from oil wells lying beyond the 200-metre isobaths, an action that is in breach of the Offshore/Onshore Dichotomy Abrogation Act 2004 in the application of the 13 percent derivation principle.
The Economic Confidential is reliably informed that the recommendation to the President for the special concession was engineered by some agencies of government which include the National Boundary Commission, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission after the exit of Engr. Hamman Tukur as Chairman of RMAFC.
Following the approval of President Goodluck Jonathan on August 31, the Economic Confidential confirms that Bayelsa State is now the leading oil producer and highest recipient of derivation funds among the oil producing states. Based on the new indices that favours the state, at the meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee in November 2010, Bayelsa State received the derivation fund of N10.37bn, followed by Rivers N8.6bn, Akwa Ibom N8.3bn and Delta N7.2bn. Other recipients from derivation funds include Ondo N1.3bn, Abia N443bn, Imo N412mn, Edo N300mn and Cross River N287mn.
For more on RMAFC Chairman and Members click: Senate Approves New RMAFC