Alhaji Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, Governor of Gombe State, has said that the consistently increasing responsibilities of state and local governments over the past 29 years have necessitated an upward review of income allocations to the two levels of government.
According to the governor, there has been a great deal of pressure, particularly on state governments in Nigeria, to address difficult problems such as insecurity, environmental degradation, deteriorating infrastructure, and insufficient financing for primary healthcare and basic education.
“Over the last decades, the responsibilities of state governments have grown, but our income distribution has stayed the same,” he says.
The governor made the remarks yesterday during a national sensitisation on the Revenue Mobilisation, Distribution and Fiscal Commission’s (RMAFC) assessment of the current revenue allocation formula for Gombe State.
He said that as the duties of state governments grow, there is a need for a thorough review of the allocation mechanism to ensure states have the resources they need to carry out new and current tasks.
Yahaya also urged the federal government to give the state particular attention, as it has done for Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states, all of which have been plagued by insurgency.
“Given Gombe State’s unique location in the heart of the North-east region, we act as the regional shock absorber in witnessing the influx of internally displaced people (IDPs) from frontline insurgency states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe,” he said.
“This has placed enormous strain on our fundamental infrastructure and services. It is thus only reasonable that the particular attention given to these three states be extended to Gombe State in order for us to meet new challenges.”
He stated that his administration had accomplished much by increasing 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 attests to our remarkable level of financial efficiency and prudence despite being among the bottom states in terms of federal allocation.”
Earlier, Malam Mohammed Usman Kukandaka, the Federal Commissioner representing Gombe State in the commission, stated that the goal of the sensitization was to educate stakeholders on the importance of participating and making relevant contributions in the review process in order to assist the commission in developing a fair, just, equitable, and acceptable revenue formula for the country.
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According to him, as a constitutional requirement, RMAFC is tasked with conducting periodic reviews of the revenue distribution formula and principles in place to guarantee compliance with changing circumstances.
“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 percent, local governments 20.0 percent, stabilisation 0.5 percent, derivation 1%, FCT 1%, development of mineral resource areas 3%, and ecology 2%,” he said.
He stated that, despite President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration’s upward revision of the vertical formula to meet current realities, the horizontal sharing formula that takes care of the country’s states and local government areas is based on equality in population, land mass, social development factors, and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).