Kogi canvasses for upward review of states, LG sharing formula from Federation Accounts Allocation Commission.
* Agitates 39, 36, 26 % for federal, states and local Governments
Against the backdrop of the myriads of responsibilities and worsening insecurity rocking the states and Local Governments across the Country, Kogi state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has canvassed for upward review of the shares of states and Local Governments from the Federation Accounts Allocation Commission.
Governor Bello made the submission on Thursday in Lokoja, kogi state capital at a one day North Central zonal Review of the vertical Revenue Allocation Formula.
Bello, who was represented by his Deputy Edward Onojah at the public Hearing noted that the burden of over bloated wage bills , worsening insecurity, Local government autonomy and provision of basic infrastructures by the states and local Governments Councils have rendered the present revenue sharing formula which had been in favour of the Federal Government as inappropriate.
He said for states and local Governments to meet its obligations, the review in favour of states and local Governments to 36% and 26% has become imperative to face socio- economic realities.
“I urge this assemblage to look critically at the revenue allocation formula currently in use in Nigeria today and isolate the immediate and remote reasons why it has failed to achieve the desired developmental aspirations. To help us chart a new order for current and future development, I suggest a revenue sharing formula of 39%, 35% and 26% between the federal, states and local governments respectively.
” The Federal Government must relinquish portion of its Revenue share to the States and Local Governments in view of the current Insecurity and increased renumeration of workers.
“It is my unequivocal position on behalf of Kogi State, and I believe that I speak for not just my brother Governors of the North Central, but for all Governors in Nigeria when I say that the federal government must now consider relinquishing portions of her share to the other 2 tiers.
“This is the time to make room for the extra, back-breaking, burden which states bear in catering for overbloated workforces, particularly at the third tier, which they cannot retrench (call it right-sizing if you like) without creating worse security, economic or political problems for their states. Moreover, the federal government enters into all sorts of agreements with organised labour, including on the minimum wage as well as enhanced pay for some professional cadres, which invariably mean more money out of the already depleted pockets of hapless states and local governments.”
“For instance, what exactly am I doing with 43,788 workers and a salary obligation of N3.8bn monthly for Local Governments in Kogi State alone despite conducting one of the most thorough staff screening and verification exercises in the recent history of this nation. This is quite different from the N3.206bn I need to settle salaries and remunerations every month at the state level for a workforce which also numbers into similar tens of thousands. Note that Kogi’s monthly income, that is, allocations from FAAC and JAAC plus our internally generated revenue which this Administration has painstakingly grown about 300%, still hovers around 7bn.”
“The situation is dire and it becomes worse when you add our many other governance responsibilities such as meeting the needs of our people in all sectors- education, health, infrastructure and utilities, security of lives and properties, social cohesion, diversity management, among others. Clearly, the case for an enhanced revenue share for the 2nd and 3rd tier of governance has never been stronger. I urge the RMAFC that this is the right thing to do and this is the time to do it.” He solicited
The Chairman, Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Engr. Elias Mbam promised that in view of the importance of the Review, the exercise would be concluded in December this year.
The Chairman maintained that the review of the Revenue among the three tiers of Government with increased revenue generation will enhance Infrastructure development in states across the country.
Speaking on the status of Kogi as an oil producing State, Engr. Mbam said the state is blessed with mineral resources, pointing out that federal allocation accruing to the state will increase as soon as the state commence Producing oil.
“Some Oil wells have been discovered in the State. Once Kogi State Starts Producing and bringing money to the Federation Account, you get 13%. Meanwhile, they get 13% from the solid minerals produced in Kogi State.”
The Commissioner of Finance, Asiwaju Idris Asiru noted that the importance of the Programme cannot be overemphasized as it will improve infrastructure in the state and better welfare for the people.
“The Review of the Revenue Allocation in use has long overdue and it is needed for the betterment of Nigerians for the purpose of good governance.”
According to Asiwaju Asiru, with the recently Inaugurated Kogi State Investment Promotion Agency and the State Economic Council, the bodies will swing into action towards attracting investment to the state for the development of oil in the state.
The Programme was attended by other top government functionaries from Kogi, Niger, Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa and Kwara States Local Government Chairmen, Civil Society Organizations, women and youth groups among others.