ENGR. HAMMAN A. TUKUR: COURAGEOUSLY PRINCIPLED CITIZEN
Engr. Hamman A. Tukur is the Current Executive Chairman Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Federal Republic of Nigeria. From the 1999 constitution section 153(1), it is stated that “there shall be established for the Federation the following bodies: Code of Conduct Bureau, Council of State, FCC, FCSC, FJSC, INEC, NDC, NEC, NJC, NPC, NSC, National Police Council, PSC and Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
Still from the same 1999 constitution section 162 (1&2) it is mentioned that “The Federation shall maintain a special account to be called The Federation Account into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the Government of the Federation. The President upon the receipt of advice from the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission shall table before National Assembly proposals for revenue Allocation from the Federation Account… provided that the principle of derivation shall be constitutionally reflected in any approved formula as not less that thirteen percent of the revenue accruing to the Federation Account directly from any natural resources.”.
Additionally, the constitution allows that “there shall be paid to the holders of the offices mentioned in sections 84 and 124, such Remunerations, salaries and allowances as may be prescribed by the National Assembly. But not exceeding the amount as shall have been determined by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission. The remuneration, salaries, allowances payable to the holders of the offices, so mentioned shall be a charge upon the consolidated revenue fund of the federation.
Similarly the 1999 constitution according to second 70 and also section III reveals that a member of Senate or of the House of Representatives shall receive such salaries and other allowances as the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission may determine.
Prior to this, the Government of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (retd) inaugurated the then National Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission on September 6 th 1988, which was statutorily established by Decree No. 49 of 1989. Equally, the 1999 constitution provides for the establishment of the Commission which former President Olusegun Obasanjo inaugurated on September 20 th 1999 with 37 Commissioners representing each state and Abuja .
The establishment of a permanent body, going by the issues in Nigeria’s fiscal finance which have generated heated public debate with intensity has been a manifestation of the complexity of the issues involved and the demand by Nigerians for an equitable revenue sharing formula is invariably a novel attempt by Government towards ensuring prudent, efficient and stable revenue sharing formula and fiscal policy for the nation.
Other information gathered from a Handbook on Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, last updated C 2002 indicates the powers and functions comprised to monitor the accruals into and disbursement of revenue from the federation account.
Another is review from time to time, the revenue allocation formula and principles in operation to ensure conformity with changing realities.
It is to advise the Federal, States and Local Governments on fiscal efficiency any methods by which their revenue is to be increased.
It is to determine the remuneration to political office holders and as well discharge such other functions as may be conferred on the commission, the constitution or any Act of National Assembly.
This is a huge, challenging and sensitive assignment that needs a righteous balanced person with vast experience.
The commission is an autonomous body and is not subject to the direction or control of any authority or person in the exercise of its power to make appointments or to exercise disciplinary control over persons.
Unlike in the past where adhoc committees, and commissions were set up to review arrangement in the country, the commission is now a permanent institution. As a permanent institution, the commission approaches shall necessarily be different from those of previous adhoc bodies.
Two of these differences worth highlighting are the report of the commission will be more frequent and be in memo forms. Secondly, its assignment will be out in a more discrete manner. Yet the commission wants to benefit from as wide and varied a viewpoint as possible, therefore, it organizes seminars, engages in frequent brainstorming sessions and uses the services of consultant and where and when necessary. It welcomes memoranda, particularly those objectively put forward by institutions, groups and individuals..
In accordance with Decree 98 of 1993, an amendment to Decree 49 of 1989, which established the commission makes the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, a statutory member of the following Government agencies – Federation Accounts, Allocation Committee, Local Government Joint Accounts Allocation committee, Joint Tax Board, Commission on Ecological Fund and National Council on statistics.
The same Decree also empowered the Commission to demand and obtain regular and relevant information data or returns from any Government Agency including the following (i) The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (ii) The Nigerian Customs Service (iii) The Federal Board of Inland Revenue (iv) The Central Bank of Nigeria and (v) The Federal Ministry of Finance.
The structure of the organization, is like this – An Executive Chairman, who is currently Engr. Hamman A Tukur, OFR, MIEE, FYCT, FNSE, Mni. It has a board comprising a member from each state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory . It also has the management comprising the senior staff that undertakes the regular civil service routines. The Commission has the office of the Chairman with operational units, the office of the Secretary and Departments namely (a) Department of Allocation (b) Department of Mobilization (c) Department of Planning, Research and Statistics (d) Department of Finance and Administration, (e) Department of Physical Efficiency (f) Public Relations and Information Unit (g) Legal Unit (h) Oil and Gas Unit.
In view of these enormous challenging functions and operations that we decide to go down memory lane and graphically highlight the personality profile of Engr. Hamman A Tukur, OFR, MIEE, FYCT, FNSE, Mni as the man at the helm of affairs, who has been presiding over the Commission as Executive Chairman for sometime now.
Unless and until we are able to locate a total and complete gentleman with fear of God in him, meant to function properly and appropriately and execute duties to the letter is a great task. Engr. Hamman A. Tukur, to his credit was the longest serving Rector of the famous Kaduna Polytechnic that has produced generations of prolific, proficient, productive citizens of this country, who are serving diligently today.
At one time, he was acting Managing Director of defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) which is now named Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). He was also Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Mines, Power and Steel.
He has had a wide, deep experience of been member of several committees set-up by the Federal Government of Nigeria to restructure, re-organize or re-engineer some comatose parastatals in the past.
All these were done meticulously, to the desired objectives of the authorities concerned. Engr. Hamman A. Tukur, the Executive Chairman, Revenue Mobilization Allocation Fiscal Commission by the titles that come after his name is a credible citizen, whose integrity cannot be faulted easily.
Apart from the bundle courage he has in taking the bull by the horns, anywhere he found himself, he is a member, Order of the Federal Republic; (OFR), Fellow Nigerian Society of Engineers, (FNSE), member, National Institute, Mni, Member, Institute of Evaluation Engineers, (MIEE), member, FYCT.
It could be recalled all these years from the Philipson Commission (1946) to Hicks – Philipson Commission (1951), Chick’s Commission 1953 Raisman Commission (1958), Binns Commission (1964), Dina Commission (1966) Aboyade Committee 1977 and Okigbo Commission (1980) no one Commission made remarkable impact like the current Engr. Hamman A. Tukur – led Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission. All these commissions, excluding the Aboyade and Okigbo Commission were able to ensure the establishment of region/state Government autonomy over certain revenue powers e.g Personal Income Tax and the establishment of Federal Government exclusive control of some revenue sources (e.g. Armed Forces Income Tax). Also, they were able to ensure the creation of a distributable Pool Account into which other revenues including import and export taxes, mining rents and royalties (etc) were paid and which was subsequently distributed between the Federal and Regional State Governments and the development of revenue allocation principles, such as derivation, population, even development etc on the basis of which fund in the distributable pool account were shared among regions/states. The Aboyade and Okigbo Commissions on the other hand fine-tuned the works of the previous Commissions towards equitable justification.
Since its inception, the commission has done a lot of work both in the area of Revenue Mobilization and Allocation. For instance, the Armed Forces Ruling Council, (AFRC) approved the first Revenue Allocation Formula prepared by the Commission with minor changes and it become operational with effect from January 1990.
The Revenue Allocation formula currently in use is slightly different from the one which came into effect in 1990 due to reviews undertaken by the Commission. The Commission was involved in the writing of the white paper on the report of the committee on modified Value Added Tax (MVAT) as a form of taxation and this led to the introduction of VAT, a tax that has considerably increased the revenue of all tiers of Government. It participated actively at the monthly Federation Account Allocation Commission (FAAC) meetings so as to ensure that allocation of funds from the Federation Account is done as per the approved Revenue Allocation formula.
The Commission undertakes a nationwide verification of some of the indices used in revenue allocation, such as primary/secondary schools enrolment, hospital beds and internally generated revenue of states and local governments and submits its report to Government. The commission has also been involved with designing appropriate strategies and policies in the area of revenue mobilization and fiscal policy. The commission at present is monitoring some federal revenue generating agencies like Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigerian Customs Service.
Through its various market surveys, the commission advises Local Government Councils on ways to improve their revenue drive from different segment of the market.
These and few are the activities taken by the leadership of Engr. Hamman A Tukur. If it can be remembered vividly it was Engr. Hamman A. Tukur, the Chairman, who drew the attention of the nation to the fraudulent activities and illegal withdrawals from Federation Account by the immediate past administration.
There are the type of leaders we want in this country. These are the type of leaders; we want to pilot the affairs of this nation, now or later. We want those that are bold, courageous and fearless and can call a spade, a spade.
Freelance Journalist and
Commentator on National Issues,
30 Gambia Crescent , Jimeta – Yola,
Adamawa State .
080-34363618, 080-55531975, 070-30100941, 070-30104887