By David Ibemere-Lagos
Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has renewed his call for states to control their resources and a review of the current revenue allocation formula to favor states and local governments in order to achieve true Federalism.
Okowa made the call in Lagos while speaking at the Ripples Nigeria Dialogue, a special forum designed to broaden discussions on the troubled Nigerian project with the theme: Rebuilding Trust in a Divided Nigeria: Advancing the Conversation.
According to the governor, the current sharing formula is not working in view of the huge responsibilities facing states.
He said, “We need to have a re-work, the revenue allocation formula, we can’t continue to give the Federal too much power and allow the states to suffer.”
“Allocation of revenue is meant to be reviewed every five years by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) with recommendations sent to the president for onward move to the national assembly, but no president has ever submitted the recommendations.”
“While the federal government takes 52.68%, the 36 States and 774 Local Governments that carry most of the burden of development get 26.72% and 20.60%, respectively! This does not augur well for effective grassroots development, inclusive economic growth and social cohesion,” he said.
Okowa further added, “Another factor responsible for our current disunity is the lack of political will to devise a constitution that supports true federalism.
“The 1999 Constitution (as amended) centralizes political and economic powers in the Federal Government and emasculates the States by denying them powers to secure their own territories and control their natural resources for the development of their territories and people.”