The Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called on the Federal Government for an increase in revenue allocation accruals to states.
This according to the governor is to encourage them to build their own potential.
While declaring open the South-South Zonal Public Hearing on the review of the existing revenue allocation, Wike noted that the current revenue allocation formula, an outcome of the military fiat as far back as 1992, has gone 22 years of democratic dispensation, obviously could not meet the present realities in the nation.
He noted that the federal government was overburdened and overloaded and could not efficiently deliver a federal system as envisaged.
He said that the states were undertaking so much insecurity and logistics for security as well as mass infrastructure, adding that in Rivers, 10 overhead bridges were being built.
According to him, we envisage the future and we have a city that has so much traffic.
“Apart from that, we have other infrastructures going on in our communities, in all our 23 local government areas, bridges, jetties, tertiary institutions and all that.
“It is just only fair that the federal government should reduce its loads and the allocations to the federal government should be reduced,’’ he said.
Wike, who earlier received Chief Elias Mbam, the Chairman of the Commission, in his office during a courtesy call, urged the commission to reduce the federal government allocation to 40 per cent.
He also called for an increase to the states to 40 per cent as well as the local governments to 20 per cent.
“In that way, most of the responsibilities that belong to the federal government will now be taken away and given to the states,’’ he said.
Wike stated that the current revenue sharing formula of 52.68 per cent to the federal government, 26.72 per cent to states and 20.60 per cent to states was not acceptable.
He noted that 1992 population figure, public school enrolment, public hospital bed spaces, landmass were used as formulas for the revenue allocation.
The governor, therefore, called for a more equitable formula that would take into consideration the current population figure, enrolment in private schools and the number of bed spaces in private hospitals.
According to him, using the same formula of 1992 as a basis for revenue allocation in this country is so unfortunate.
He, however, commended the commission for undertaking the revenue allocation review, saying it was well overdue.
The Chairman of the RMAFC, Mbam, said that the commission embarked on the process of reviewing the existing Vertical Revenue Allocation Formula due to the constitutional provision.
Mbam explained that Paragraph 32 (b), Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution as amended empowered the commission to review from time to time the revenue allocation formulae and principles in operation.
He said that such a review was to ensure conformity with the changing realities.
He said that the schedule provided that any revenue formula accepted by an Act of the National Assembly should remain in force for not less than five years from the date of commencement of the Act.
According to him, since the last review of the revenue allocation formula in 1992, a lot of socio-economic and political changes have taken place.
“Therefore, the review has become necessary in order to reflect the changing realities,’’ the chairman said.
He said that already the commission had placed advertisements in print and electronic media, calling for memoranda from the stakeholders in order to achieve its objective.
Mbam, however, assured that the commission would take serious consideration to all views and recommendations that would emanate from the public hearing.