Gombe governor: Why we deserve upward review of revenue allocation

Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, has stated that the consistent expanding roles of state and local governments in the last 29 years have made it mandatory for an upward review of the revenue allocations to the two tiers of government.

According to the governor, there has been so much pressure, especially on the state governments in Nigeria, to tackle challenging issues of insecurity, environmental degradation, decaying infrastructure, inadequate funding for primary healthcare and basic education.

According to him, “Over the past decades, the roles of state governments have expanded, but our revenue allocation has remained the same.”

The governor stated yesterday during the nationwide sensitisation on review of the existing revenue allocation formula by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), held for Gombe State.

He said as the roles of state governments keep expanding, there’s the need for a proper review of the allocation formula to ensure states get the required resources to deliver on new and existing responsibilities.

Yahaya also called on the federal government to give the state a special consideration just like Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, which have been bedevilled by insurgency.

He said: “Given the special position of Gombe State at the centre of the North-east region, we serve as the regional shock-absorber in witnessing the influx of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from front line insurgency states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

“This has put tremendous pressure on our basic infrastructure and services. It is therefore only fair that the special consideration being extended to these three states also be extended to Gombe State to enable us to deal with new challenges.”

He said his administration had been doing a lot by boosting its revenue generation through fiscal efficiency, discipline, transparency and accountability in governance, adding that: “The fact that we are able to achieve far more than even the richest states attest to our remarkable level of financial efficiency and prudence despite being among the bottom states in terms of federal allocation.”

Earlier, the Federal Commissioner representing Gombe State in the commission, Malam Mohammed Usman Kukandaka, said the objective of the sensitisation was to enlighten stakeholders on the need to participate and make relevant contributions in the process of the review in order to assist the commission in coming up with fair, just, equitable and acceptable revenue formula for the country.

He said as a constitutional mandate, RMAFC is saddled with the responsibility of periodic review of the revenue allocation formula and principles in operation to ensure conformity with changing realities.

He said: “In 1992, the vertical share of revenue to be allocated to the three tiers of government as proposed by the RMAFC was as follows: federal government 48.5 per cent states 24.0; local per cent governments 20.0 per cent; stabilisation 0.5, derivation 1 per cent; FCT 1 per cent; development of mineral resource areas 3 per cent, and ecology 2 per cent.”

He said despite the upward review of the vertical formula by the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration to meet with current realities, the horizontal sharing formula which takes care of states and local government areas in the country is anchored on equality in population, landmass, social development factors and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

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