By Ibrahim Hassan, KADUNA
States from the North-West region, on Monday, urged the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, to give lion shares of revenue to states and local governments.
They argued that the two tiers of government should take 60% while federal government takes 40%, pointing out that the state government is also saddled with funding of security apparatus, which is the sole responsibility of the federal government.
The states of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Jigawa, Kebbi and Zamfara from the North- West in their separate presentations, made the demand during the zonal public hearing on the review of the current allocation formula, held in Kaduna.
In her presentation, Katsina State called for 35% for states, 25% for local government and 40 percent for federal government.
The Katsina State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Farouk Jobe, said: “The revenue allocation was long overdue and its review is timely because it is getting to 30 years that the allocation was reviewed.”
Secretary to the Kano State Government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, lamented hat the federal government was taking too much of the revenue.
“Federal government should take 41%, states 34%, LGs 24% and we need an independent one percent for Kano State because it is a mini-Nigeria,” he said.
The Jigawa State Commissioner for Finance and budget, Alhaji Ibrahim Babangida Umar, said that states and local government should take lion shares of the allocation for rapid development, proposing 44% for federal, 34% for states and 22% for local government.
Kaduna state Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mohammed Shuaibu said, “Certain percentage be sent aside for poverty/insecurity ridden states, and 13 percent derivation should remain, but extend to mineral resources also.”
In a keynote address, Governor, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State said: “Our reality is that the Federal Government has since the late 1960s acquired powers and resources similar to those exercised by the sovereign in unitary systems.
“Most of the 36 states rely on the revenues from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).”
The governor, who represented by his Deputy, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, said: “The Federal Government retains the largest chunk of federation resources.
“It does too much but is too stretched and so does little well. Yet, the things that really matter to citizens are state and local government functions.
“For instance, basic and secondary education, primary health care and agriculture are subnational responsibilities.
“But the way things are, many states have to support the federal security agencies deployed within their jurisdictions, despite the fact that security is a federal responsibility.
“Therefore, the argument for a significant review, in favour of states, of the vertical revenue allocation formula is compelling.
“The Federal Government has to consolidate its focus around security, foreign affairs and monetary and fiscal policy.
“It should allow the states and the local governments to get more revenues to deliver better governance at the grassroots.”
Chairman of RMAFC, Engineer Elias Mbam, in his remarks, explained why revenue allocation was unreviewed for 29 years contrary to Constitutional provisions of every five year review.
He said due to socio-economic and political changes in the country, the allocation was last reviewed in 1992.
“As you may all be aware, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) by virtue of paragraph 32 (b), part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ( 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 Revenue 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’
“In line with the above constitutional provision and the fact that there had been several socio-economic and political changes in the country since the last review in 1992, the Commission has commenced the process of reviewing the subsisting revenue allocation formula to reflect these changing realities.
“Accordingly, the Commission has designed processes and guidelines to ensure adequate participation of Nigerians.
“In this regard, the Commission has undertaken sensitization visits to all the states and local governments to make sure that the generality of Nigerians participate in the process,” he said.