Governor Udom Emmanuel has called on the Federal Government to review upwards the revenue allocation to states in order to improve the economic growth and enhance industrialization in the country.
Governor Emmanuel made this known while receiving a team from the Revenue Mobilization Allocation/Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) on a sensitization visit led by the Federal Commissioner, Hon. Sunday Ayang, on Wednesday, at Government House, Uyo.
The governor urged them to reflect on the major challenges of the states in their input and work towards its implementation to further assist states tackle pending financial issues.
“Let me appreciate this call to my office, some of the grey areas and concerns you have pointed out, please I want to appeal that this should be an exercise that will yield results.
“Honestly the current sharing formula is not helping matters at all especially we in the oil producing areas, what you sign into law from the center is also a major problem, how can you say that a community will take only 3% from the proceeds of the NNPC and it’s generating a lot of heat here but we are trying to manage that.
“Irrespective of going round we all submitted the memoranda of PIB nothing was taken into consideration.
“So I hope this won’t be a similar exercise and that what we contribute will be taken into consideration. What we should do should help build and unite the country, coordinate economic activities for our growth and for the interest of everybody so that we can leave at peace.
“I welcome you to the state, be rest assured you will have all our cooperation and the exercise will go smoothly please let it be an exercise that will yield success and not another fruitless labour you are embarking on ’’, the governor stated.
The governor pointed out that the state does not receive revenue from the large gas reserve, VAT from International Oil Companies IOC operating in the state.
“Gas is a major issue, I can’t be a state that sits on the largest quantum of gas in this country and I am not getting anything. 36.1% of Oil and Gas reserve of Nigeria is in Akwa Ibom State and I am not getting anything from gas, so how is it computed, there is something wrong somewhere, it is wrongly computed.
“These are raw data that can be verified anywhere. Now there is another controversy of VAT, all VAT from these IOCs where are they paying them to, they are not paying them to us, so there are many things you should look at and develop for the federal government.
“So VAT from IOCs, from oil and gas should actually go to the states these things are produced”.
The State Chief Executive called on the federal government to review the revenue allocation of the state to address the issue of population increase, marine security along the coastal lines, erosion menace to reduce the burden of the state government.
In his remarks, the team leader from Revenue Mobilization Allocation/Fiscal Commission and Federal Commissioner Representing Akwa Ibom State, Hon. Sunday Ayang, stated that the purpose of the visit was to sensitize Akwa Ibom people on the review of sharing formula between the Federal, States and Local governments, where stakeholders will send in their inputs to capture grey areas.
According to Ayang, the constitution makes provision for the exercise to be carried out in 5 years to further improve on revenue among the three tiers of government, noting that the team is working towards presenting memoranda before President Muhammadu Buhari for assessment and necessary actions.
“It is an honour to be here Your Excellency to discuss matters of revenue allocation formula review, the primary purpose of our visit is to sensitize the people in the state of the fact that Revenue Mobilization Allocation/Fiscal Commission is embarking on an exercise to review vertical formula of sharing the allocation revenue the three tiers of government’’.