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HoR okays bill empowering RMAFC to monitor revenue disbursements, accruals

House

By Tom Okpe

The House of Representatives has given concurrence to a bill for an act to repeal Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, (RMAFC) Act, 2004, enacting the Commission’s new law for use.

This followed the consideration and adoption of report on the amendment bill, transmitted by the Senate to the House by the committee of the Whole, at plenary on Wednesday.

The bill seeks to grant the commission enforcement powers in the monitoring of accruals to and disbursement of revenue from the Federation Account and to bring the Act in conformity with provisions of the 1999 Constitution, (as amended).

Moving for the consideration of the report, deputy leader of the House, Peter Akpatason said the bill intends to repeal the former Act and reenact a new one to grant RMAFC the requisite powers to properly carry out its vital duties for the socioeconomic benefit of Nigeria.

The sponsor of the bill in the Senate, Olubumi Adetunmbi, (Ekiti North) had in a lead debate said, the bill sought to reinforce the mandate and powers of the commission as a body saddled with the responsibility of monitoring revenue generation and disbursement on behalf of the people and government of Nigeria.

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”It also seeks to make it unlawful for any Commission, Board or revenue generating agency of the Government of the Federation to withhold remittance into the Federation Account of revenues.

“The commission in spite of being a body established by the Constitution, and whose independence is further guaranteed by the Act establishing it, has been hamstrung by certain limitations.

“This is particularly instructive bearing in mind that the Act came into force in 2004 and has not been updated to reflect the changing realities of the time.

“In a world faced with the twin challenges of dwindling revenue and spiraling population and its attendant pressure on scarce resources, the imperative for a prudent management and effective utilisation of our Nigeria’s commonwealth cannot be over-emphasised,” he said.

Similarly, the House concurred the Senate bill for an Act to establish Real Estate Regulatory Council of Nigeria to provide efficient, effective and transparent administration of the business of real estate development in the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT).

The bill seeks to prescribe minimum standards for the conduct of the business of real estate development in Nigeria; promote it and ensure the development, sales and lease of plot, apartment or building, (landed property) in a transparent manner.

It also aims at providing globally acceptable standards of service and transparent administration of the business of real estate development and prescribing minimum standards for the conduct of the business of real estate development in the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT).

The deputy leader, Akpatason moving for consideration of the report, said the bill seeks to establish the Regulatory Council to sanitise the real estate development in the FCT and ensure affordable and world-standard development of building properties for Nigerians.

Meanwhile, the House passed through third reading a bill for an Act to amend the Bank Employees, Etc. (Declaration of Asset) Act, Cap. B1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to reflect the prevailing situation in the country.

The bill amended section 7(2) of the principal Act to provide that any employee guilty of fraudulent activities shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for 20 years from the current 10 years and shall, in addition, “forfeit the excess asset or its equivalent in money to the Federal Government.”

The proposed legislation also amended Section 5 (1) of the principal Act, amended by substituting the existing words with new words which reads:

“The Chief Executive of every bank shall once in every year, but not later than 7th January submit to the appropriate authority a list of all employees who joined or left the employment of the bank in the immediate proceeding, 12 months expiring on 31st December of the preceding year.”

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