*Advocates new revenue sharing formula for states
Port Harcourt — Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, on Tuesday reiterated that Soku oil wells belong to the state, while berating Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State, for claiming ownership of the said oil wells.
Governor Wike said this when he received a delegation of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission on a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt.
The governor described as unfortunate comments by the Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri over ownership of Soku oil wells and urged the Commission to continue to ensure the payment of the accruing revenue to the State.
“It is unfortunate that the Bayelsa State Governor told you when you visited him that you should not pay us revenue from Soku oil wells.
“The matter was at the Supreme Court when the National Boundary Commission admitted that they made an error in their 11th edition publication, by situating Soku oil wells in Bayelsa State.
“They were therefore, directed to correct the error in their 12th edition publication. When they also failed to effect the correction, we had to go back to the Federal High Court. The court, in its wisdom directed that all revenue accruing from Soku oil wells should be paid to Rivers State.
“That is the position. For Bayelsa State Governor to come up to say that you should not pay us our money is unfortunate.
“If they have filed a matter at the Supreme Court, it is not an injunction to stop the implementation of the subsisting judgement”, he stated.
Governor Wike also advocated for a new revenue sharing formula, that will make States get more money for development.
The Governor pointed out that the States bear more development burden and would require more money to cater to the needs of the people.
“There cannot be a Federal Government without the States. So, we advocate a new revenue formula that should take more revenue out of the Federal Government and given to the States.
“This is because the burden is more on the States than the Federal Government. So, the states should have more revenue to cater for the people,” he said.
The Governor commended the Commission for taking the bold step to correct fraudulent practices adopted by some States in order to gain financial advantage.
Earlier, Leader of the delegation, Alhaji Mohammed Kabiru Usman, said they were on an advocacy and sensitisation tour to the State.
Usman explained that their 2018 verification exercise was characterised by fraud, because some data supplied by some states were spurious.
According to him, such over inflated figures were to make those states get money that they do not deserve and deny others.
Alhaji Usman said the visit would afford them the time to sensitise the relevant financial officers in the State on the importance of providing correct data to the commission.