From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The six states of Kogi, Kwara, plateau, Niger, Benue, Nasarawa comprising the North central geo-political zone of Nigeria have said the current revenue sharing formula carried out by Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission was lopsided and counterproductive .
The state’s made their individual submissions on Friday during the zonal public hearing on the review of the current revenue allocation formula held at the Government house, Lokoja.
According to them the federal government took bulk of the monthly allocations while the states which they said bear the largest brunt and local governments are at the receiving end.
All the affected states agreed that the Covid19 pandemic, unemployment and the current security challenges in the country have put more burdens on the state such that the current sharing formula of federal government having 52.68, the 36 states and the FCT 26.72 percent and LG with 20.60 percent was overdue for review.
For example, Kogi State government said it has over 27,894 workforce in the public service with two state universities, one Polytechnic two colleges of education, one each of School of Nursing and college of health sciences and 2,472 primary schools with 16,738 teachers and over 8,341 teachers in 848 secondary schools and therefore could not cope with the monthly ₦ 3 billion sent to the state.
Each state in their presentations therefore suggested their own proposal of anew revenue formula with Kogi State given the federal government 40 percent of the total revenue, 36 states 27 percent, LG 33 percent while Kwara proposed 33 for FG , 30 percent for states and 27 per for LGs.
Others are :Nasarawa proposed 44 percent for FG, 35 percent for states, 21 for LGs: Benue, 30 percent for FG , 45 for states ,25 for LG, plateau 40 for FG, 35 for states , 25 for LGs while Niger State said it was still doing consultations with its stakeholders.
Members of the Academia who also presented papers also proposed 30 percent for FG , 35 percent to states 20 for LG and 15 percent set aside as special funds to cater for other exigencies while the National council for women societies proposed 30 percent for FG, 34 percent to states , 23 percent to LGAs and 13 percent to oil producing states
Earlier in his welcome address, the chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation commission, Mr Elias Mbam said the commission has gone round some geographical zones in the country to cross fertilise and collate ideas on the best way to arrive at a new revenue sharing formula that will be just and fair to all
He said the commission established in 1992 was meant to serve all Nigerians faithfully and urged every state present including the civil societies to make their proposals known to assist the commission in serving the nation better.