By John Ighodaro
CALABAR â€”Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River has said if the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) had taken time to seek contributions from states and stakeholders in all its assignments, Cross River would not have found itself where it is now.
He spoke while receiving the report on the downward review of the remuneration package for political, public and judicial office holders at the State Government level from the Chairman of the Commission, Engr. Hamman A. Tukur, represented by Chief Dr. Tom Uloko.
Imoke, who was referring to the recent withdrawal of 76 oil wells from the state and its de-listing as an oil producing state, faulted the commission for not being fair in the way it operates.
Imoke, who was represented by Mr. Efiok Cobham, Deputy Governor, said though he was not against a downward review of revenue for political office holders, it should have been left for an agency saddled with the responsibility.
For him, each state should be allowed to determine the kind of review it wishes based on their financial standing rather than making it a general matter for all the states.
He stressed that he was one of those craving for the amendment of the constitution based on some identifiable lapses while pledging his allegiance to the federal government.
Imoke noted that the cordial reception which the team received in Cross River, despite the unfavorable position which the commission has placed it, is a reflection of the peopleâ€™s hospitality and friendliness which cannot be seen else where in the country.
Presenting the four volumes report, Engr. Hamman A. Tukur narrated that volume one dealt on the Reviewed Allowances for Federal Executive and Judicial Office Holders; two on Reviewed Allowances for State and Local Government Executive; three on Reviewed Allowances for Federal Legislature and four, Reviewed Allowances for State and Local Government Legislatures.
Tukur explained that in the course of the review exercise, the commission took into consideration the provisions of sections 84 (3) and 124 (3) of the 1999 Constitution, both of which provide that â€œthe remuneration and salaries payable to the holders of the said offices and their conditions of service, other than allowances, shall not be altered to their disadvantage after their appointmentâ€