By Femi Ogunshola
Abuka, Nov. 4, 2020 The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission has sought the separation of the office of Accountant-General of the Federation from the Accountant-General of the Federal Government.
Chief Elias Mbam, the chairman of the commission, said this during its budget defence before the House Committee on Finance on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that the operation and management of the federation account was an area of concern to the commission.
According to him, currently the Account is managed by the Accountant-General of the Federation who also double as Accountant-General of the Federal Government.
“This does not guarantee checks and balances, transparency and accountability in the operation of the Account.
“In the view of the commission, the office of the Accountant-General of the federation should be separated from that of the Accountant-General of the Federal Government,” he said.
Mbam also expressed worry over the increasing rise in the cost of governance in the country.
He said that the cost of governance in Nigeria was very high and had continued to be on the increase, adding that it was unsustainable as no country could develop with such high level of recurrent expenditure.
He listed some of the reason responsible for this to include: duplication of agencies of government with virtually similar functions and responsibilities, corruption and unlimited number of political appointments
Others are wasteful spending and ghost workers’ syndrome among others.
He, however, said that the recommendation to ensure cost reduction included avoiding unnecessary duplications of agencies with similar functions.
He further recommended reduction in the number of political appointees to the barest minimum.
Others are: strict compliance with approved renumeration packages of office holders and ensuring prudent spending of government funds.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commission also proposed N2,223,176,808 for its 2021 budget.
According to Mbam personnel cost is N1,654,784,707; overhead is N344,762,287 and the capital is N223,629,814.
Rep James Faleke, the Chairman House Committee on Finance told the commission that Nigerians were yarning for a new revenue formula.
He also said that Nigerians were saying that the money allocated to the centre was too much adding, however, that since no one lives in the centre, it should be redirected to states and Local Governments.
“There is so much money at the centre at the detriment of the state and if such is not addressed the committee will not consider the commission’s budget for year 2021,” he said.