By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has declined to grant a request by the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi for the Nigeria Police to be funded directly from the Federation Account.
In a recent letter to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the minister requested her to make deductions from the Federation Account for funding of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund citing a constitutional breach in such request.
In the letter, which was also copied the RMAFC, the Police Affairs Minister, made reference to the establishment of Police Trust Fund sources of funding to include0.5% of the total Revenue accruing to the federation account., 0.005%of the net profit of companies operating business in Nigeria.
A statement by the RMAFC Head of Public Relations, Christian Nwachukwu on Wednesday said the minister’s letter also listed “Any takeoff grant , special intervention fund as may be provided by the federal, state and Local Government of the Federation.
“Such money as may be appropriated to meet the objectives of the Act by the National Assembly in the Budget, Aids, grant, and assistance from international bilateral and multinational Agencies, Non-governmental Organizations and private sectors
“Grant, donations, endowment, bequests, and gifts, whether of money, land or any other property from any source and vii. Money derived from investment made by the Trust Fund”, it added.
According to the statement, the Minister also requested that Mrs. Ahmed “should give directive for –The deductions of the monthly share of the Police Trust Fund in the Federation Account into a dedicated account as from January 2020.
“The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to deduct 0.005%ofthe Net Profit of the companies operating in Nigeria as stated in the Act effective from January 2020.The Accountant General of the Federation opens a dedicated account for the Police Trust Fund in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“Approval to nominate a representative of the Federal Ministry of Finance in the Board of Trustees as stated in the act establishing the Trust Fund”.
Reacting to the Police Affairs Minister’s request, the Chairman of RMAFC, Engr Elias Mbam said”the sources of the Trust Fund which shall consist of the amount consisting 0.5%of the total revenue accruing to the federation Account is inconsistent with the provision of S.162(3) of the 1999 constitution as amended”.
According to him, “the S.4 (1) (a) of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act 2019 is inconsistent with the provision of the constitution cited above.Any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that law shall be null and void to the extent of its inconsistency”.
Mbam pointed out that the Supreme Court had laid to rest the proper mode od distribution of funds according to Federation Account in A –G of the federation Vs A- G of Abia State (NO . 2)(2002)6 NWLR, Pt. 764. 542, when it declared as unconstitutional , null and void, the funding of the judiciary as a first line charge on the Federation Account;
The Chairman also listed other sources of funding to include servicing of external debt as a first line charge on the Federation Account; funding of joint Venture contracts and NNPC priority project as a first line charge on the Federation Account;Unilateral allocation of 1%of revenue in the Federation Account to the Federal Capital Territory.
He said, “That the only beneficiaries to the federation account are the Federal Government, State Governments and Local Government Councils in each state as provided in S. 162(3) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
He added, “RMAFC objected to the request made by the Minister of Police Affairs for the funding of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund as requested via the 0.5% of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account.
“The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) is saddled with the responsibility to monitor accruals of revenue into the Federation Account from revenue generating agencies and disbursement of all the accruals to the three tiers of government made up of Federal, state and local Governments while blocking leakages.
“RMAFC also gives advice to the Federal, State and Local Governments on fiscal efficiency and method by which their revenues can be increased”.
By Tony Obiechina, Abuja