On Thursday, the Rivers State government advocated for a boost in income allocation accruals to states in order to enable them to develop their own potential.
In his keynote presentation, Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike said this while declaring open the South-South Zonal Public Hearing on the review of the current revenue allocation. According to NAN,
The Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in Port Harcourt hosted the ceremony, which was attended by Wike’s Deputy Governor, Mrs Ipalibo Banigo.
“The current revenue allocation formula, an outcome of the military fiat of 1992, has gone 22 years of democratic dispensation, evidently could not suit the current realities” in the country, he said.
He stated that the federal government was overcrowded and overwhelmed, and that it was unable to effectively provide the federal system as planned.
He said the states were investing heavily in security and logistics as well as mass infrastructure, noting that ten overhead bridges were being built in Rivers.
We envision the future, he says, and we have a metropolis with a lot of traffic.
“Aside from that, we have various infrastructure projects in our communities, including bridges, jetties, tertiary institutions, and so on, in all of our 23 local government regions.”
“It’s only reasonable that the federal government reduces its loads and that the federal government’s allocations are lowered,” he said.
Wike, who had earlier welcomed Chairman of the Panel Chief Elias Mbam in his office for a courtesy call, requested the commission to cut the federal government’s allocation to 40%.
He also advocated for a 40% increase in state funding and a 20% increase in local government funding.
“In this way, most of the federal government’s obligations will be transferred to the states,” he stated.
The existing revenue sharing formula of 52.68 percent for the federal government, 26.72 percent for states, and 20.60 percent for states, according to Wike, is unacceptable.
He said that the revenue allocation formulae were based on the 1992 population figure, public school enrolment, public hospital bed spaces, and land mass.
The governor asked for a more equitable approach that took into account the present population, private school enrollment, and the amount of bed spaces in private hospitals.
Using the same mechanism for revenue allocation in this country as it was in 1992, he believes, is extremely bad.
He praised the panel, though, for conducting the revenue allocation review, which he said was long overdue.