The Commissioner for Finance and Coordinating Economy Imo State, Dr Doris Uzoka- Anite has advocated an upward review of the revenue accruing to states from the Federation Account.
She said that an upward funds and resources to states in Nigeria would enable the states to cater for their rising responsibilities.
The finance commissioner made the call while speaking at the South-East Zonal Public Hearing on the Review of the Vertical Revenue Allocation Formula organized by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission held in Owerri on Wednesday.
The financial guru called for the amendment of 1999 Nigerian constitution to give room for the creation of additional state in South East and as well the creation of state police to help curtail the rising cases of insecurity in the country and especially in South East region.
She further recommended that items like Oil and Gas and some others items should be removed from the exclusive list and be added to the concurrent list to enable states generate more revenue to finance major projects like erosion and other forms of environmental degradation facing different states in the country.
Declaring the event open, Governor Hope Uzodinma called for the devolution of power to states and local governments areas in the country, stressing that it will guide the taxing powers of states and LGA’s.
According to the Governor, “For Fiscal Federalism to truly thrive, which is based on fiscal decentralisation and financial autonomy, there has to be more devolution of power to the State and Local Governments, and this will guide their taxing power, allocation of funds, and expenditure.”
The governor also appealed to the Federal Government and the National Assembly to deem it necessary to create additional states for the South-East Zone for justice and equity especially in terms of revenue allocation and fiscal commission.
He urged the Federal Government to reconsider paying royalties to Imo State for its 42 oil blocks being tapped by Rivers State so that the revenue allocation formula of the state would improve in order to meet infrastructure, welfare and security needs of Imo citizens.
Uzodinma further appealed to all agencies that generate revenue for the government to ensure that they quickly remit generated revenue to the coffers of government just as they pay salaries to their workers.
His word, “DPR records, Imo State has the highest deposit of natural gas and this is being piped to Bonny NLNG where it is exported. We recommend that a special metering system be put in place to identify the quantity of gas being piped to Bonny NLNG with consequent attribution to the revenue of the State.”
In his speech, Chairman of Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Engr. Elias Mbam, stated that the commission had started the process of reviewing the existing vertical revenue allocation formula.