From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has called for true fiscal federalism where States will have powers to manage resources in their domains, saying it was the only way forward for the country.
Ikpeazu made the call when he received in audience a delegation of the Federal Commissioner, representing Abia State at the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Dr. Chris Akomas at Government Lodge, Aba.
He equally advocated in the case of natural resources, states should control those domiciled in their area and pay royalties to the federal government.
The governor recalled that the Eastern Region of Nigeria used to be the fastest growing economy in the world during the times of Dr. Michael Okpara; when there was true federalism with different regions controlling their resources.
He made it clear that that every region was not equally endowed by nature and such they must be allowed to enjoy the advantages of those endowments since the regions also live with the disadvantages of such endowments, especially environmental degradation.
He stressed the need for funds reserved for Federal roads by the Federal Government to be sent to the States to fix such roads that cut across the States.
Ikpeazu maintained that states should be allowed and empowered to do Federal government roads in their domains.
The Governor observed that the call for states to make contributions to the ongoing review of the revenue sharing formula by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) is desirable, adding that the move for the review by the RMAFC is laudable and assured that Abia State would cooperate with the Commission and make her position known soon.
Dr. Akomas who is the Chairman of the Committee on Disbursement of the Commission had earlier told the governor that the team was in the State to sensitize the Abia Government on the ongoing process of the review of the revenue sharing formula of the Federal Government.
He stated that the process of reviewing the revenue sharing formula is the constitutional responsibility of the Commission and said that response to the review was urgent while the next stage would be the Zonal Public hearings where States would make their positions known