Bello Makes Case for Upward Review of Allocation To States LG

From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state at the weekend, made a case for an upward review of the shares of states and local governments federal allocation.

Bello, who lamented 43,788 civil servants and N3.8bn monthly salary burden, made the call in Lokoja, the state capital, during the North-Central public hearing on the review of the revenue allocation formula organised by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Edward Onojah, said for states and local governments to meet their obligations, a review in favour of states and local governments to 36 per cent and 26 per cent respectively had become imperative.

“To help us chart a new order for current and future development, I suggest a revenue sharing formula of 39 per cent, 36 per cent and 26 per cent among the federal, states and local governments respectively.

“The Federal Government must relinquish portion of its revenue share to the states and local governments in view of the current insecurity and increased remuneration of workers.

“This is the time to make room for the extra, back-breaking, burden which states bear in catering for over bloated workforces, particularly at the third tier, which they cannot retrench (call it right-sizing if you like) without creating worse security, economic or political problems for the states. Moreover, 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.”

“For instance, what exactly am I doing with 43,788 workers and a salary obligation of N3.8bn monthly for local governments in Kogi State alone.

“This is quite different from the N3.206bn needed to settle salaries and remunerations every month at the state level for a workforce which also numbers into similar tens of thousands. Note that Kogi’s monthly allocations from Federation Accounts Allocation Committee and JAAC, plus our internally generated revenue, which this administration has grown to about 300 per cent, still hovers around 7bn.”

The Chairman, RMAFC, Elias Mbam promised that in view of the importance of the review, the exercise would be concluded in December this year.

He said the review of revenue among the three tiers of government will increased revenue generation and enhance infrastructure development in states.

The event was attended by representatives from Kogi, Niger, Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa and Kwara states, among others.

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