Wike canvasses upward review of revenue allocation to states
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has urged the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to reduce revenue accruable to the Federal Government to 40 per cent, and increase states and local government councils to 40 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.
He said the current revenue sharing formula in which the Federal Government get 52.68 per cent, while the states and councils receive 26.72 per cent and 20.60 per cent was unacceptable.
Wike made the assertion, yesterday, when members of the RMAFC led by its chairman, Elisa Mbam, visited him at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
In a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, the governor noted that in spite of the changes the country had gone through in the last 29 years, it had continued to use the 1992 revenue formula of military regimes.
Wike also faulted the use of 1992 population figure, public school enrolment bed spaces in public hospitals and landmass as formula for revenue allocation.
He argued that a more equitable formula should also take into cognisance of current population figure, enrolment in private schools and number of bed spaces in private hospitals.
The governor urged the commission to reduce the revenue accruable to the Federal Government to 40 per cent, because it has abdicated its responsibility of providing security and basic infrastructure to the states.
He expressed doubt about Federal Government’s willingness to implement the RMAFC’s recommendations, which is currently holding public hearing on new revenue sharing formula across the country.
Responding, Mbam explained that one the major mandate of the commission is to review from time to time the revenue allocation formula to conform with the realities of the times.
Mbam explained that it has become necessary to review the current formula because the last review was done in 1992, noting that there had been a lot of changes in the country’s political and socio-economic situation.
He noted that the data that would be collated from the states would help the commission to arrive at a fair revenue formula, adding: “We believe that what we will get from states will help us to arrive at a fair, just and equitable revenue formula.”
He commended Wike for his development stride in Rivers State and urged other states to emulate him.