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April 22, 2024
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Kebbi governor seeks review in revenue sharing formula

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By Ismail Abdulaziz
Gov. Nasir Idris of Kebbi has called for a review of the sharing formula of federal allocations to meet the democratic needs of citizens.

Idris also called for a critical look at the issue of the establishment of the Police to be managed by state governments across the federation.

In an interview with newsmen on Friday in Abuja, Idris said the revenue sharing formula was lopsided in favour of the federal government to the detriment of the states.

He said the three arms of government have responsibilities to people that elected them, adding that one arm should not therefore take a proportion that is of disadvantage to the rest.

“A situation where the federal government takes 55 per cent of the total share of the revenue was to say the least unfair. We must look at the formula in order to meet our campaign promises to our citizens.

“When you look at it, the states and local governments are the closest to the people and most of challenges faced directly by citizens are handled by the states and local governments,” Idris said.

Revenue among the three arms of government is shared in accordance with the vertical formula, as determined by Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission and approved by the National Assembly.

The formula allocates 52.68%, 26.72% and 20.60% to the Federal, State and Local Governments, respectively.

Revenue allocation refers to the mechanism for sharing the country’s financial resources, with the overall objective of enhancing economic growth and development, minimising inter-governmental tensions and promoting national unity.

“It is at the state that you find the farmers, the artisans, the poorest of the poor and it is our responsibility as governors to make life meaningful and worth living for them.

“So, I believe that the federal government has fewer responsibilities in terms of direct interaction with Nigerians. Governors and local government chairmen deal directly with the people and that is a huge burden on them.

“Our revenues should be shared in such a way that state and local governments that often have direct interactions with the Nigerian people should collect higher percentage to meet their yearnings and aspirations.”

On proposed state police, Idris said he was not against the idea, but urged for caution in wholeheartedly embracing an idea without deep analysis of its application and sustainability.

It is believed that the existence of state police in the various states of the country will help in combating the rising insecurity in the country.

It will also negate the wanton imposition on the states by the federal authorities and other agents in the state.

“The idea of a state police is to continue to protect the lives and properties of the citizenry and to curb criminal activities in the states.

“So, we need to look at the challenges the federal government was having with securing the people that the idea of the state police arose from.

“When I look at this issue, what came to my mind is to first increase the number of these security agents. Their number is very inadequate for Nigeria’s population of over 200 million.

“When we take it from here, then we can start to look at the financial capacity of some state that should serve as pilot states in which to test this new innovation.

“The states that can purchase equipment, take care of personnel welfare and other logistical demands,” he said.

The possible benefits of state police include improved knowledge of local context as well as that officers recruited and trained locally could have a deeper understanding of the specific issues and needs of their communities.

Some state government have started establishing community security outfits, especially in the troubled northern parts of the country.

“If we have a state police even the funding alone is going to be difficult for the state governments. For instance, how much is an armoured personnel carrier now? If you buy one for N300 million, how many do you need to effectively cover the state?

“How many do you need to secure big towns and big local governments? Can you sustain the funding as a state? How effective will your funding be? What about personnel? How effectively can you manage them,” the governor said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Rabiu Sani-Ali

Ismail Abdulaziz

Deputy Editor in Chief, Website & State House Bureau, Abuja.
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