Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is advocating for a new revenue sharing formula in the country, saying the current revenue allocation regime cannot meet the realities of social-economic development at all levels of governance.
Wike was speaking during the South-South zonal public hearing on the Review of the Current Revenue Allocation Formula in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
Speaking through his deputy, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Wike said “it is very clear to anyone who cares to know that the Federal Government is overburdened and overloaded and cannot efficiently deliver a Federal system as we envisage it in our Federation”.
According to the governor, states need to be encouraged to be able to build up their own potentials, adding that It was all part of encouraging inclusiveness and encouraging a sense of belonging.
“In Rivers state, we are building ten overhead bridges because we envisage the future, it is futuristic, we have a city with so much traffic and these ten overhead bridges are a must, apart from the infrastructure that is going on in all our communities and 23 local government areas”, he said.
While noting that bridges, jetties and educational Institutions all fall under the laps of states, he called for the reduction of the allocation of the Federal Government and an increase of the allocation to the states and local governments, stressing that this is what equity is all about.
Governor Wike expressed delight that the commission had gone round and done sensitisation, collected various data and indices, and accordingly expressed the hope that all these will not be thrown away at the end of the day and prayed that the feelings and aspirations of the Nigerians of today would garner their efforts and bring it to fruition.
Chairman of the Fiscal Commission, Elias N. Mbam, an engineer, disclosed that RMAFC by virtue of Paragraph 32(b) Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution, as amended, is empowered “to review from time to time the revenue allocation formula and principles in operation to ensure conformity with changing realities, provided that any formula which had been accepted by an Act of the National Assembly shall remain in force for a period of not less than five years from the date of commencement of the Act”.
According to him, the Commission has embarked on the process of reviewing the existing Vertical Revenue Allocation Formula, adding that the review became necessary because a lot of socio-economic and political changes have taken place since the last review in 1992.