…Demands Special Consideration For Gombe State In View of Its Peculiar Location, Role In North East
Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has described the ongoing process for the review of the revenue allocation formula as an avenue to
review the challenges of economic development and issues confronting revenue generation.
The Governor stated this while declaring open, the Nirth East zonal public hearing on the review of revenue allocation formula organized by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in Gombe.
The governor said the review becomes imparative in order to make it in tune with the principles of equity and fairness.
“While details of the Gombe State’s Position will be delivered during the presentation session, let me make it clear that a review of the revenue formula to a more people centric, equitable and fairer allocation formula where the Federal Government gets 40%, the States 35% and the LGAs 25% is the consensus view of the people and is therefore proposed to the RMAFC”.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya described the occasion as unique as it will provide participants the opportunity to meet and interact with personalities, whose wealth of experiences will come to bear on the workshop.
“The Public Hearing on Review of Revenue Allocation Formula is indeed apt and timely as it will enable us to review the challenges of economic development and serve as an avenue for diagnostic review of issues confronting revenue generation. This is paramount in view of the glaring global economic realities which indicate that meaningful economic growth and development are not fully attainable in a monolithic economy like ours”.
“I understand that this zonal public hearing is amongst the series being organized by RMFC aimed at sensitizing the three tiers of Governments on the Review of Revenue Alloction Formula base on the revenue generation of the nation to sustain economic growth, create job opportunities and provide infrastructural facilities”.
He reminded participants at the public hearing that the promulgation of the Fiscal Responsibility Law in 2012 was aimed at ensuring fiscal discipline through collection, remittance and disbursement of funds.
The Governor said the era of generating revenue and spending it on the premise of an existing law, order or procurement is no longer acceptable as all expenditures must be appropriately handled.
He however regretted that despite the massive natural and human resource endowments, the Nigeria continues to depend on crude oil resources as the major source of revenue for decades despite the massive developmental challenges facing it.
“This leaves us with no alternative than to diversify the economy, especially with the current trends of globalization and the monumental challenges facing us as a nation. We must therefore harness our resources wisely to turn the destiny of our country around by utilizing the existing abundant potentials inherent in the economy”.
The Governor noted that diversification of the economy is the only panacea for the socio-economic development of the country, as the nation can maximally harness and utilize the abundant natural resources bestowed on her by the Almighty Allah to rebuild the economy, and improve the living standards of the people.
“It is against this backdrop that at the inception of this administration we wasted no time in constituting a Committee to address infrastructural gaps and improve the economy of the State. An IGR Committee was also set up to improve our revenue by blocking leakages and enforcing mechanism that would provide a rewarding system to attain set targets”.
He said on revenue generation, the State had passed a Fiscal Responsibility Bill to block all leakages in revenue collection and enhance prudence and transparency in its financial transactions.
“In addition to PAYE usually deducted from source, efforts have been intensified to ensure that businessmen and corporate organizations pay their correctly assessed taxes to the Government as at when due”.
He explained that the significant achievements recorded by the State is monumental where in Government has made unprecedented efforts through the provision of massive socio-economic infrastructure, overhauling of the educational sector, transformation of the Agricultural Sector, improvement of the health sector, creating employment opportunities for the teeming youths and women, protection of lives and properties among other areas of human interests.
“However, this can only be achieved through patriotism, discipline, transparency in governance, attitudinal change and, above all, the fear of God”.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya further noted that:
“Gombe State is among the bottom States in terms of Federal Allocation. The fact that we are able to achieve far more than even the richest States attest to our remarkable level of financial efficiency and prudence. But given the special position of Gombe State at the center of the North-east, we serve as the regional shock-absorber, witnessing the influx of internally displaced persons from frontline insurgency States of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. This puts tremendous pressure on our basic infrastructure and services. It is therefore only fair that the special consideration being extended to these 3 States be also extended to Gombe State to enable us deal with new challenges”.
The Governor called on the participants in attendance of the Public Hearing to take time off their tight schedules and go round to see the developmental efforts taking place in the State.
” I wish to urge resource persons and participants to discuss the issues at stake dispassionately in order to chart a way forward towards achieving the noble objectives of this Workshop”.
The chairman Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC Engr Elias Mbam said the zonal public hearing is aimed at reviewing the current revenue allocation formula to meet with current economic realities.
He said the periodic review is usually moderated by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC to harvest proposals across the country on how to tinker with the revenue sharing formula through the approval of the National Assembly.
He stated that the commission is committed to ensuring that the new revenue allocation formula captured the yearnings and developmental aspirations of Nigerians.
”The commission conducted similar exercises in other five geo-political zones of the country in order to obtain relevant data from relevant agencies for use in the review process.
“The wider engagement of stakeholders in the process of data gathering was to ensure an all-encompassing and inclusive process,” he said.
He said that studies on fiscal matters relating to allocation of federation revenues were also being carried out, adding that the processes were aimed at ensuring that the new revenue formula would be “fair, just and equitable.”
He expressed confidence that the participation and contributions in the public hearing would enrich the outcome and assist the commission in coming up with a revenue formula that would be acceptable to majority of Nigerians.
Engr Elias Mbam thanked Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya for accepting to host the Zonal Public hearing, describing the gesture as most welcoming.
Earlier in an address of welcome, the Secretary to the Gombe State Government, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi tasked delegates from the North East sub-region to come up with a united position that could help fast track development in the insurgency stricken zone.
Ismaila Uba Misilli
( Press Affairs)
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