Cut Down FG’s Share-South-West Govs Urge RMAFC

Governors of the six states in the country’s South West geo-political zone-Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo and Lagos, have called on the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, to ensure that it slashed down the federal government’s current allocation from the Federation Allocation in its yet-to-be reviewed revenue allocation formula.

The governors, represented by their respective finance commissioners, made the call in Lagos on Monday during the zone’s on-going public hearing on the review of revenue allocation formula.

They were also unanimous in insisting that the treatment given to oil-producing states in the country should be extended to states with solid minerals and other forms of natural resources.

While welcoming discussants, host governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, disclosed the Lagos state has already made a proposal which it suggested that 34%, including FCT’s 1% be left as federal government share with states and local governments having 42% and 23% respectively.

Lagos, according to him, is to be given extra 1% for its Special Status. The formula, he argued, will guarantee equity, justice and fairness.

“The 13% dehydration principal should be applied to all resources including solid minerals and tax revenue so that all federating units will be motivated and equitable distribution of resources will prevail.

“Our demand is a sharing formula that is just, fair and equitable; reflecting the contribution of stakeholders to the common purse; and also one that enhances the capacity of state and local governments to deliver high-quality services and the full dividends of democracy to the greatest number of our people,” he argued.

On the issue of a special status for Lagos state, Sanwo-Olu posed that Lagos is overdue for such status because it is more than just an ordinary state given that there is no state in the country that is not significantly represented within.

“There is no tribe in the country that has no significant stake in Lagos state. As the former capital of the country for 77 years, compared to the 28 years that Abuja has been the Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria’s largest metropolis still bears the heavy brunt of being home to all Nigerians irrespective of age, class, gender, religious affiliation or tribe,” he said.

While also stressing the need for federal government allocation to be sliced down-30% for federal government, 45% for states and 25% for local government areas, Ogun state governor, Dapo Abiodun, represented by finance commissioner, Dr Dapo Ogunbadejo, added that the time has come for the removal of population as a parameter for revenue allocation. In its place, the governor wants RMAFC to adopt the population density option.

Oyo state wants the new revenue allocation to reflect the fact that much of the responsibilities, including security, hitherto undertaken by the federal government, are now being carried out by the states, a reason why its allocation should also look downward. The state, according to him, wants a new revenue sharing formula under which the federal government will take home 35% while the state and local government areas will be getting 40% and 25% respectively.

In his address, RMAFC Chairman, Engr. Elias N. Mbam, pointed out that the country’s last revenue allocation formula review was in 1992 adding that a lot of socio-economic changes have taken place since then hence the need for a review that would reflect changing realities.

According to him, RMAFC is relying on extant statutory provisions as enunciated in Paragraph 32(b), Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, As Amended”, to conduct a review from time to time subject however, to the proviso that such review is accepted by an Act of the National Assembly, which shall remain in force for a period of not less than five years from the date of commencement of the Act.”

He noted that it is in pursuant to the provision that the RMAFC is conducting zonal public hearing across all the six go-political zones having also undertaken sensitisation visits to all the states and local governments with a view to ensuring that Nigerians are carried along.

“I enjoin you all to participate actively and effectively. I wish to assure you that the Commission would take into consideration all views and recommendations that would emanate from this Public Hearings,” Mbam assured.

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