Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) Mr. Elias Mbam has told a delegation of the Oversight Constitutional Implementation Committee of the National Assembly of Kenya that establishing an independent authority charged with the sole responsibility of managing federally collected revenues is the only way to resolve constant quarrels among tiers of government.
Mbam told the delegation that the concentration of the functions of being both the accountant of the Federal Government and manager of the Federation Account in the presently located inside the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) in Nigeria was fuelling tension and crisis of confidence among the three tiers of government.
He said his commission believes that Federal Government should have its Accountant-General separate from that of the Federation Account, who would function as an independent manager to promote transparency, accountability, checks and balances.
This arrangement he explained, would engender trust among the three tiers of government and other beneficiaries from the Federation Account while also canvassing for amendment of the constitution to grant revenue independence to local governments concerning their share of the federation account.
“While statutory allocation from the Federation Account due to the federal and state governments are credited to them directly, that of local governments is expected to be paid into the respective state/local government joint accounts established by Section 162 (6) of the 1999 Constitution,” he noted.
Speaking on the relevance of RMAFC, Mbah said lack of power to enforce the provisions of the law and sanctions in addition to absence of financial autonomy constitute hindrances to its functions.
Whereas the Commission, by law, was not responsible to any other organ of government in the appointment, promotion and discipline of its staff, the Chairman observed that practically, the Commission still depends on budgetary allocations, which are often inadequate, to protect its independence and fund its operations.
Leader of the delegation, Mr. Njoroge Baiye, who is also Chairman of the National Assembly committee, had earlier said the delegation was in Nigeria to understudy the country’s management of the Federation Account.