The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has described as constitutional breach the request by the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammed Maigari Dingyadi, for 0.5 per cent from the federation account for the Police Trust Fund.
The minister of police affairs had in a letter to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, and copied to RMAFC, made reference to the establishment act 2019 of Police Trust Fund sources of funding to include 0.5 per cent of the total Revenue accruing to the federation account, 0.005 per cent of the net profit of companies operating business in Nigeria.
According to Dingyadi, in the letter, any takeoff grant, special intervention fund as may be provided by the federal, state and local government of the federation, such money has to 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 organisations and private sectors grant, donations, endowment, bequests, and gifts, whether of money, land or any other property from any source.
He also went ahead to request Mrs. Zainab to give directive for the deductions of the monthly share of the Police Trust Fund in the federation account into a dedicated account starting from January 2020.
“In addition, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) should deduct 0.005 per cent of the Net Profit of the companies operating in Nigeria as stated in the Act effective from January 2020.
“The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) should open a dedicated account for the Police Trust Fund in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), including 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,” he said.
Speaking on the letter, RMAFC Chairman, Engr Elias Mbam, said the request by police affairs minister was inconsistent with the constitution.
According to Mbam, “the provisions of the constitution was explicit on the beneficiaries of the federation account.
“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.
“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.
“The Supreme Court had laid to rest the proper mode of 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 following: “The funding of the judiciary as a first line charge on the Federation Account, 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; 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.
“In view of the above, 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 RMAFC helmsman said.
The 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.
The Commission also gives advice to the federal, state and local governments on fiscal efficiency and method by which their revenues can be increased.