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Comprehensive review of RAF overdue – Gov. Bello

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Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has opined that the discuss for the comprehensive review of Revenue Allocation Formula (RAF) was overdue and that Federal government must now consider relinquishing portions of her share to the other 2 tiers.

He noted that realities between the 3 tiers of Government currently necessitated a more equitable sharing plan for all revenue accruing into the Federation Account noting that such was the position of Kogi State and he was convinced it was held by his colleagues.

He stated that the federal government enters into all sorts of agreements with organised labour, including the minimum wage as well as enhanced pay for some professional cadres, which invariably mean more money out of the already depleted pockets of hapless states and local governments.

Governor Bello noted that currently, the federal government takes 52.68 percent, the 36 states and the FCT split 26.72 percent and the local government councils make do with 20. 60 percent while the 9 oil producing states receive an additional 13 percent as derivation revenue which is distributed among them depending on the actual contribution of each to crude oil receipts.

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The Governor said with 43,788 workers and a salary obligation of N3.8bn monthly for Local Government which is quite different from the N3.206bn needed to settle salaries and remunerations every month at the state level for a workforce Kogi’s monthly income, which includes allocations from FAAC and JAAC plus its internally generated revenue which the current administration has painstakingly grown about 300%, still hovers around N7bn.

He added “The situation is dire and it becomes worse when you add our many other governance responsibilities such as meeting the needs of our people in all sectors – education, health, infrastructure and utilities, security of lives and properties, social cohesion, diversity management, among others. Clearly, the case for an enhanced revenue share for the 2nd and 3rd tier of governance has never been stronger. I strongly urge it this is the right thing to do and this is the time to do it”.

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He added that the Commission has a duty to ensure that none of such revenue was stolen, diverted or hidden away from all lawful beneficiaries. Often, States and Local Governments can do nothing more than look on, helpless, at the distressing frequency with which our media report the discovery of trillions of naira in distributable revenue which the NNPC or other revenue generator either neglected, failed or refused to remit to the federation account as and at when due.

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While tasking the EFCC to brace up in the challenge of its responsibilities, he advised that preventing the larceny of the nation’s communal funds was actually a better use of her valuable resources and time than the recent dealing in innuendos about alleged lost or found funds in alleged secret accounts of the Kogi State Government which neither him, nor his administration knew anything about.

The Governor noted that Revenue allocation in Nigeria should promote national unity and accelerated economic growth of all tiers while he urged this assemblage to look critically at the revenue allocation formula currently in use in Nigeria today and isolate the immediate and remote reasons why it has failed to achieve the desired developmental aspirations.

Governor Bello however suggested a revenue sharing formula of 39%, 35% and 26% between the federal, state and local governments respectively.

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