North Central canvasses urgent review of revenue sharing formula
Stakeholders from the North Central geopolitical zone has called for a review of the current revenue sharing formula in the country, stating that it was no longer realistic to maintain the model.
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, who declared the meeting open, canvassed a revenue mode of 39 per cent, 35 per cent and 26 per cent among federal, state and local governments, as against the current 52.68, 26.72 and 20.60 per cents to encourage national development.
He made the advocacy yesterday at a one-day zonal public hearing organised by the Revenue Mobilsation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) at Government House, Lokoja.
Represented by his deputy, Chief Edward Onoja, the governor said the main objective of revenue allocation was to promote national unity and accelerated economic growth of all tiers of government, contending that the formula currently in place had failed to achieve the nation’s developmental aspirations.
His words: “We can no longer deny that a comprehensive review of the Revenue Allocation Formula (RAF) currently in use in Nigeria has become overdue.
“Currently, the Federal Government takes 52.68 per cent, the 36 states and the FCT split 26.72 per cent and the local councils make do with 20.60 per cent.
“The nine oil-producing states receive an additional 13 per cent as derivation revenue which is distributed among them depending on the actual contribution of each to crude oil receipts.
“Existential realities between the three tiers of government today necessitate a more equitable sharing plan for all revenue accruing into the Federation Account.”
He, therefore, urged the panel to take a critical look at the prevailing revenue allocation formula with a view to doing the needful in the interest of Nigerians.
Other states, including Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Kwara and Niger, equally agreed that there was an urgent need to reconsider the current revenue sharing formula to ameliorate the hardship of the other two tiers of government of the current economic realities.
Earlier, RMAFC Chairman, Elias Mbam, revealed that the commission, by virtue of 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 formula and principles in operation to ensure conformity with changing realities.
He said in consideration of the above provisions and since the last review in 1992, there have been several socio-economic and political changes in the country, noting that the commission has commenced the process of reviewing the subsisting revenue allocation formula to reflect these changing realities.