By Danjuma Williams (Gombe State Correspondent)
The consistent expansion of roles played by States and Local Governments in the last 29 years has made it mandatory for an upward review of the revenue allocations to the two tiers of Governments.
Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State stated this, adding that there has been so much pressure especially on the State Governments to tackle challenging issues of insecurity, environmental degradation, decaying infrastructure, inadequate funding for primary healthcare and basic education, even when revenue allocation has remained the same.
The Governor stated this during the Nationwide sensitization on review of the existing revenue allocation formula by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, held for Gombe State.
He said as the roles of States keep expanding, there’s the need for a proper review of the allocation formula to ensure states get the required resources to be able to deliver on new and existing responsibilities.
Governor Inuwa also called on the Federal Government to give Gombe State a special consideration just like Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States who have been bedeviled with attacks by insurgents.
According to him, "given the special position of Gombe State at the center of the North-east, we serve as the regional shock-absorber, witnessing the influx of internally displaced persons from front line insurgency states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.
"This puts tremendous pressure on our basic infrastructure and services. It is therefore only fair that the special consideration being extended to these 3 states be also extended to Gombe State to enable us deal with new challenges", he appealed.
On it's part, he said, his administration had been doing a lot by boosting it's revenue generation through fiscal efficiency, discipline, transparency and accountability in Governance. He added 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, Federal Commissioner representing Gombe State in the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Malam Mohammed Kabiru Usman Kukandaka said the objective of the sensitization 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 come 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.
"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 percent States 24.0, Local percent Governments 20.0 percent, stabilization 0.5, derivation 1 percent, FCT 1 percent, development of mineral resource areas 3 percent ecology 2 percent".
He said despite the upward review of the vertical formula by the 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, land mass, social development factors and Internally Generated Revenue IGR.
Malam Kukandaka said in 2014 the Commission reviewed the sharing formula but its final report transmitted to the President for onward action is yet to see the light of the day, expressing the hope that this exercise will produce the desired result. NNL.