By Adewale Sanyaolu and Merit Ibe
AS Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) submits its proposed 3.33 per cent slash in the statutory allocation to the Federal Government, to allow 3.07 per cent and 0.44 per cent respectively raise to states and local councils, experts have hailed the move but however urged the government to be creative on revenue generation.
According to Dr Muda Yusuf, CEO, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprises (CPPE), the weak fiscal position of most states has contributed to their perpertual dependency on the Federal Government for survival. “It has diminished the capacity of the states to be assertive as autonomous levels of government.
He advised “To complement this laudable move, we should see a regime of fiscal federalism where states are rewarded according to their creativity and resourcefulness. State governors should commit to growing the investment profiles of their states,” .
For his part, Chairman of the Manufacturers Associationof Nigeria (MAN), Apapa branch, Frank Onyebu, sees the proposed review of the revenue allocation formula as being long overdue.
He urged the Federal Government to start implementing it without further delay. “Though I consider this proposal as not going far enough, I call on the Federal Government to implement it without further delay. This will show some goodwill on the part of the Federal Government and will confirm its determination to devolve some of its functions to the states as well as the local governments,” he added.
Commenting on the proposal, Founder, Centre for Values and Leadership, Professor Pat Utomi, said the country’s obsession with revenue sharing was worrisome, as the menace was more pronounced at the states and local government levels.
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He said rather than governments at all levels to be centres of profligacy and wastages, they should be wealth creators.
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He noted that the inability of governments to be creative was the reason its institutions are not self funding, adding that many in government don’t have ideas about revenue management and allocation which is a major reason the country is in financial crisis.
He called for restructuring to address some of these shortcomings among the tiers of government, warning that the current proposal by RMAFC may not address their long-term needs in the area of resource management and allocation.
He advocated a scenario where retired permanent secretaries, principals and CEOs are brought on board to help manage resource allocation that can ultimately promote better lives for the citizenry.
‘‘ There are several wasting assets across the country. What government needs to do is to draw up an asset register to drive development.
“For instance, the Federal Secretariat rotting away in Ikoyi for over 30 years is a national malady which ought not to have a place in our national history. This is an asset that can create wealth and employ over 300 people if turned into a hotel,’’ Utomi added.