The Plateau State government has approached the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, (RMAFC), for a release of N102 billion for investment in the development of agriculture, solid minerals and tourism sectors of the state.
If approved, the money will be drawn from the Development of Natural Resources Fund, as provided for by the Revenue Allocation (Federation Account) Act.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the Fund receives direct allocations from the federation account on a monthly basis and is added to the share of the federal government to be kept in trust for the three tiers of government.
The money is in the custody of RMAFC and can be accessed by states once they can convince the commission of the viability of the projects they intend to fund. But it can only be released on the recommendation of RMAFC’s committee on fiscal efficiency and budget.
The committee was in Plateau State to see first hand, all the projects that the government intends to fund with the money.
The chairman of the committee, Adamu Shettima Yuguda Dibal led his vice, Mr Alfred Egba (who represents Bayelsa State in the commission) and other members of the committee to Jos, the Plateau State capital, where they promised the governor, Simon Lalong, that the state’s request would receive the attention it deserves.
During the courtesy visit on the governor, Yuguda Dubal who is also a former deputy governor of Borno State, said the visit was “part of the process required for accessing the requested funds. At the end of the exercise, a report will be generated by the committee with recommendations on the appropriate amount the state should access.
“The committee’s recommendations will then be transmitted to the commission’s plenary session for concurrence. Finally, the commission’s recommendation is forwarded to the president and commander-in-chief for his approval before release is made from the account.” He said.
He said his committee would be fair in assessing the state’s request and ensure fairness and equity in making appropriate recommendation “in tandem with the requirement by the state. The committee will be guided by the objective of creating the Fund and other national needs.”
In an interview, Mr Alfred Egba, vice chairman of the committee said the committee had recently received a similar request from Lagos State and that the documentations were still in progress and urged other states who feel qualified to apply to be able to access the funds.
According to him, “the money is there for states to access and use same for the development of their states. The federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari is interested in growing our economy and the moment all the processes are concluded, our committee with do the needful and the commission will recommend to Mr President to release the money to the deserving states.
“There is an urgent need for us to diversify our economy and this government believes so much in this. Ours in RMAFC is to ensure that the right things are done and then the money will be accessed.”