Abuja – Mr Itiako Ikpokpo, immediate past Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) Delta chapter, has called for a review of the nation’s revenue sharing formula.
Ikpokpo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that “adjustment of the formula is the best solution to the financial problem bedevilling the local government system’’.
He said that the nation’s yearning for grassroots growth and development would remain a mirage until conscious efforts were made to review the local government system, especially in the area of funding.
Ikpokpo, former Chairman of Isoko South Local Government Area, pointed out that local government autonomy being clamoured for by many stakeholders could not achieve the desired results.
“As good as it is, autonomy will not do us any favour if the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), does not do the needful.
“The needful is that RMAFC must reduce the Federal Government’s share of the revenue because there is too much at the centre, which is far from the people.
“The existing arrangement in which the centre takes a whopping 52 per cent revenue share and gives 774 constituent parts put together, a paltry 20 per cent is archaic and unsustainable,’’ he said.
NAN reports that in the existing revenue-sharing formula, the Federal Government takes about 52.6 per cent, 26.7 per cent to the 36 states and 20.6 per cent to the 774 councils.
The current formula being used by RMFAC in the allocation of revenue to the three tiers of government came into effect with an amendment in 1999 after it was first enacted in 1982.
In July, the Senate declared the formula constitutional and called on RMFAC to review it in line with “current and changing economic realities of our country.”
The upper chamber of the National Assembly also urged the Federal Government to propose a new formula for passage by the legislature to end the current formula.