Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State says a fair, just and equitable revenue sharing formula will give states more resources to provide basic necessities of life to the citizenry.
Governor Sani Bello disclosed this when a team from the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) led by its Federal Commissioner, Alhaji Ibrahim Bako Shettima, who are on a two-day sensitization exercise in the state, paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Minna.
The Governor expressed hope that, at the end of the exercise, a favourable revenue sharing formula will be fashioned out in the collective interest and development of the country.
He said some states were more endowed in natural resources than others while some have more landmass, urging that all components and variables should be brought together while considering the sharing formula to be adopted.
“Few states, especially the Niger Delta, have the windows and the advantage over some of us because they have God-given assets in terms of oil that has given them an edge over the majority of the States.
“But in deciding or calculating the way revenue should be shared, I also believe we should not just concentrate on oil. There are so many factors”, he said.
According to the Governor, Niger State was working on its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) even as it was hopeful of joining the oil-producing states.
He said all that was needed at the end exercise was for the needful to be done so that there will be justice and equity in revenue allocation.
The Governor said they were not asking for too much but a fair share, considering so many factors as the government is saddled with a lot of huge burdens when it comes to size and providing basic amenities to communities.
Earlier, the Federal Commissioner, Alhaji Bako Shettima said, over the years, Nigerians have been agitating for the review of the existing sharing formula which has lasted beyond the stipulated minimum of five years.
He added that various attempts to review the sharing formula has suffered setbacks, as such, they were now in the process to review the sharing formula as empowered by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria every five years.
“It is however worthy to note that the imperative of the review cannot be overemphasized in order to fulfil the collective aspirations of Nigerians for a fairer and more equitable fiscal arrangement among the three tiers of government”, he said.
He added that the exercise is designed to provoke stakeholders, through interactive sessions at various levels, in order to get informed and useful inputs that can provide a workable template to assist the commission in its task of evolving a fair, just and equitable revenue sharing formula for the country.
He assured of the commission’s desire to provide, within the shortest time possible, an acceptable new revenue sharing formula that will meet the yearnings and aspirations of the three-tiers of government and the citizens.