RMAFC embarks on revenue sensitization in Abia
…Ikpeazu makes case for fiscal federalism
The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has embarked on a sensitization programme on the review of revenue sharing formula in Abia State.
The commission represented by Chris Akomas, chairman, Indices and Disbursement Committee, RMAFC, disclosed this in the Governor’s Lodge when he paid a scheduled visit to the state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu and subsequently, at a town hall meeting in Umuahia, the Abia State capital.
Akomas, who assured that the programme would offer a new and people-oriented revenue sharing formula for the nation in the shortest possible time, solicited necessary and positive contributions through interactive sessions and submission of memoranda.
He noted that the sensitization programme was part of the commission’s mandate, as stipulated in relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution, to review the country’s revenue sharing formula to meet the yearnings of both the three tiers of government and the generality of the people in the light of changing realities.
“This sensitization is to enlist the interests of stakeholders through interactions at various levels in order to get informed and make useful inputs that can provide a workable template to assist the commission in the task of evolving and bequeathing to the nation a fair, just and equitable new revenue sharing formula.
“This assignment is to be handled with every seriousness to ensure that all levels of government will make contributions that will guarantee equity and fairness”, Akomas said.
Earlier in his speech at the Governor’s Lodge, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu recalled that the Eastern Region of Nigeria used to be the fastest-growing economy in the world during the times of Michael Okpara when there was true federalism with different regions controlling their resources, he made a case for true fiscal federalism where states would have powers to manage resources in their domains and the case of natural resources, pay royalties to the federal government.
The governor noted that everyone and every region was not equally endowed by nature and such regions must be allowed to enjoy the advantages of those endowments since they also live with the disadvantages of such endowments, especially environmental degradation.
The Abia Governor pointed out that funds reserved for federal roads by the Federal Government should be sent to the states to fix the federal roads that cut across those states, maintaining that states should be allowed and empowered to do the Federal Government roads in their domains.
Ikpeazu, who also hinted that his administration was intervening on many federal roads, decried the paucity of funds that made it impossible for states like Abia to fix federal roads for its citizens, adding, “Even if 100 percent of the state’s allocation is deployed in the Abia axis of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, it would not be enough to fix it”.
The Governor noted that the call for states to make contributions to the ongoing review of the revenue sharing formula by the RMAFC was desirable.
He said that the move for the review by the RMAFC was laudable and assured that Abia State would cooperate with the RMAFC and make its position known very soon, even as he announced the setting up of a committee to that effect, which would be headed by Aham Uko, the Commissioner for Finance.
Governor Ikpeazu, who thanked Chris Akomas for the good job he is doing at RMAFC, said the state is proud of him.
He described Akomas as one of the brightest and most intelligent public officers Abia State has produced.