By Gabriel Kekong
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has called for a review of the revenue sharing formula between the Federal and States, stressing that there is absolutely no way the FG alone, will be taking far more than all the states in the federation.
Engineer Sule made the call while hosting a delegation from the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMFAC), at the Government House, on Thursday.
While describing the current sharing formula between the three tiers of government in the country as obsolete, the Governor pointed out that both the states and local governments are not getting appropriate share of the revenue mostly because the data used in allocating revenue are also obsolete.
He pointed out that no local government area in Nasarawa State can be able to pay salaries of workers without support from the state government mostly because the data used in allocating revenue to the councils are not correct.
Citing Karu Local Government Area as an example, the Governor said a transparent and fair exercise for data generation will most likely show that Karu LGA alone has one million people.
“We can’t plan properly without having proper data. And we believe that we should have proper data.
“By the time you carry out this exercise and I mean it with all sincerity, you will discover that the population of Nasarawa State is almost twice what the records are showing today,” he stated.
Engineer Sule thereby tasked members of the RMFAC team covering the North Central geopolitical zone, to go about the exercise with every sense of transparency, justice and fairness, as that is the only way that both state and local governments can arrive at a fair share of the revenue.
“We keep planning to build roads, water scheme, institutions of learning, medical facilities in Karu LGA alone, for instance, for the number of people that the data is showing us but in reality, each time they are overstretched.
“And the only reason they will continue to be overstretched is because the data that we are given are purely false data, they are obsolete,” the Governor said.
Engineer Sule however said his administration is putting appropriate measures in place towards making Nasarawa State less dependent on federal allocation, adding that the data to be generated will also be utilized for the purpose of internal revenue generation.
“Nasarawa State should be able to generate enough revenue on our own, to sustain herself and then what will come from the federal will be to supplement the effort of what the state is doing.
“That is the direction we are going by the grace of God,” he said.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, leader of the RMFAC delegation, Hon. Barrister Patrick Mgbebu, said the team were in the North Central to carry out advocacy and sensitization on data generation and management, for the review of the revenue allocation indices for states and local governments.
Mgbebu, who is the Federal Commissioner representing Ebonyi State, said only a transparent exercise can ensure justice, equity and fairness to all parties.
He pointed out the last document was obtained in 2012 and have since outlived its five-year lifespan.
Members of the RMFAC team include the Federal Commissioner representing Nasarawa State, Alhaji Ali Abdulkadir.