The South-East states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo on Thursday called for an increased allocation of revenue for states in the ongoing review of the revenue allocation formula.
The states made the call in Enugu at the South East geopolitical zone’s public hearing on the review of the revenue allocation formula.
While speaking to newsmen, they also called for the removal of landmass from the list of considerations in the revenue allocation formula.
The representatives of the five state governments said the increase had become necessary in view of the heavy burden placed on state and local governments, especially in the area of security.
Speaking on behalf of the Abia State Government, the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Chief Emmanuel Nwabuko, proposed an increase for states from 26 per cent to 32 per cent.
“Also, local governments should get 23 per cent as against 20 per cent, while the allocation to the Federal Government should be reduced from 54 per cent to 45 per cent,” Nwabuko said.
Nwabuko recommended the increase of the 13 per cent oil derivation to 20 per cent due to environmental degradation, while he also called for the removal of landmass in the formula.
The Executive Secretary of the Enugu State Economic Planning Commission, Dan Onyishi, proposed 40 per cent each for federal and state governments.
Onyishi said the local governments should get 20 per cent of the vertical allocation.
He said the justification for this proposal was “in the fact that the Federal Government has transferred to states its major responsibilities, such as security and infrastructure development.
“Federal Government resources should be limited to defence, maritime, foreign affairs, aviation and security.
“Let the state and local governments handle other areas that impact directly on the people.”
On landmass, Onyishi said its removal would be necessary because “development is for people and not landmass”.
The Imo State representative and member of the state House of Assembly, Ngozi Pat-Ekeji, recommended 30 per cent for the Federal Government.
“We should then have 40 per cent for states, and 25 per cent for local governments,” Pat-Ekeji said.
Pat-Ekeji however called for the inclusion of factors such as population density and rainfall in considering the sharing formula.
She called for Internally Generated Revenue to be removed entirely as a factor in revenue sharing.
The Anambra State representative, Gabriel Onyenweife, expressed dismay at the allocation given to area councils in the Federal Capital Territory and called for its reduction.
Earlier, Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State had said the forum would afford different groups in the zone the opportunity to air their views on the review of revenue allocation formula.
Chime, who was represented by his deputy, Sunday Onyebuchi, said while declaring the hearing open that the current formula of revenue sharing should be urgently reviewed.
“This should be done to devolve more allocation to states and local governments,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Elias Mbam, had assured participants that their contributions would be considered in the commission’s final report.