By Ikenna Uwadileke
The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has stressed the need to generate more revenue from the non-oil sector to sustain the country’s economy.
Chairman of the Commission, Chief Elias Mbam, said this when the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Exchange Commodities, Mrs Zaheera Ari, visited him in Abuja.
The RMAFC boss said that the commission would collaborate with government agencies working towards enhancing revenue generation.
Mbam, who emphasised the need to diversify the country’s economy from an oil-based one, which according to him, capable of sustaining the economy, said that more efforts were needed to explore the potential in the non-oil sector.
“A typical example is that the solid mineral was not contributing to the federation account.
“But as a result of the sensitisation and advocacy and the collaboration between the commission and the ministry of mines and steel, they are now contributing reasonably.
“And we are saying that if proper things are done the non-oil revenue is capable of sustaining the economy of this country.
“In recent times, oil has not been contributing much to federation account and we are falling back to the non-oil sector which includes agriculture, tourism and solid minerals.
“And, the commission will always be ready to work with any agency that is working towards enhancing revenue generation.
“In order words, we are willing, ready and capable of working with the Nigeria Commodity Exchange for the success of this initiative,’’ Mbam said.
The RMAFC said that a six man committee would be constituted from both agencies to produce a draft of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to serve as a working document to guide the duo in the collaboration.
“I think this is necessary and is in line with government’s policy on diversification,’’ Mbam said.
He added “we as a commission has a primary role to mobilise revenue to diversify and advice all tiers of government on fiscal efficiency.
“Before now we have gone round the six geo political zones of this country to carry out advocacy and sensitisation programme of all tiers of government on the need to diversify and also bring to their knowledge what exists around them that they are not using’’.
Earlier, Ari said that the Nigeria Commodity Exchange’s quest for collaboration with RMAFC was propelled by the need to generate more revenue to the country through the non-oil sector, particularly agriculture.
According to her, we can work together to move the country forward because we know that your major mandate is to move round and generate revenue for the country.
She said that the Nigeria Commodity Exchange would serve as a veritable platform for farmers to sell their commodities and make profit for themselves and generate revenue for the country.
“This would ensure that farmers improve their productivity and their livelihoods.
“Farmers are to do their production and come and trade at the exchange. The exchange does not buy neither does it sell.
“What the exchange does is to provide that transparent trading platform so that farmers can come through a broker to trade so that they can get the exact price of their commodities,” she said.
According to her, this will ensure that the quality of the commodities are of world standard and improve productivity. This will also encourage transparency and ensure improved standard.
“Instead of shares and stock what we are trading is commodities.
“The essence of setting this up is for farmers to have a platform to sell their commodities.
“We do exactly what Nigeria stock exchange of old does and the only thing is that instead of shares and stock we are trading commodities,” she said
She said that the major bane of the Nigerian farmer wass storage.
”At harvest period, they don’t have where to store their commodities.
”And, they are forced to sell off these commodities at very low prices most times below production cost.
“So, this platform would discourage that as the farmers now have a platform to sell their commodities through a broker and make their profit as well as generate revenue for the country,’’ Ari said. (NAN)