*Seeks upward review of revenue allocation to states
Port Harcourt — Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has lamented that the state does not receive revenue from her large gas reserve, as well as value added tax from oil multinationals and other firms operating in the state.
To this end, the governor has advocated that value added tax from IOCs, as well as from oil and gas firms, should be allocated to the states where they are being produced.
Governor Udom said this while receiving a team from the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, on a sensitization visit to the state, led by the Federal Commissioner, Sunday Ayang, at Government House, Uyo.
He wondered how RMAFC computes their revenue allocation formula, while calling on the federal government to review the revenue allocation of the state to address the challenges burdening the state government.
“I can’t be a state that sits on the largest quantum of gas in this country and I am not getting anything. 36.1percent of oil and gas reserve of Nigeria is in Akwa Ibom State and I am not getting anything from gas, so how is it computed? There is something wrong somewhere, it is wrongly computed.
“These are raw data that can be verified anywhere. Now there is another controversy of VAT, all VAT from these IOCs where are they paying them to? They are not paying them to us, so there are many things you should look at and develop for the federal government.
“So VAT from IOCs, from oil and gas should actually go to the states these things are produced.”
Governor Udom therefore called on the Federal Government to review upwards the revenue allocation to states in order to improve the economic growth and enhance industrialization in the country.
The governor urged RMAFC to reflect on the major challenges of the states in their input and work towards its implementation to further assist states tackle pending financial issues.
He warned that the exercise should not be like the hearing on PIB, which he said their (states) submissions and inputs were not considered while passing the Bill.
“Honestly the current sharing formula is not helping matters at all especially we in the oil producing areas, what you sign into law from the center is also a major problem, how can you say that a community will take only 3percent from the proceeds of the NNPC and it’s generating a lot of heat here but we are trying to manage that.
“Irrespective of going round, we all submitted the memoranda of PIB but nothing was taken into consideration.
“So I hope this won’t be a similar exercise and that what we contribute will be taken into consideration. What we should do should help build and unite the country, coordinate economic activities for our growth and for the interest of everybody so that we can leave at peace.”
Earlier, the team leader from the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission and Federal Commissioner Representing Akwa Ibom State, Sunday Ayang, said the visit was to sensitize the people on the planned review of sharing formula among the Federal, States and Local governments, where stakeholders will send in their inputs to capture grey areas.
Ayang said the constitution makes provision for the exercise to be carried out every five years to improve on revenue among the three tiers of government, noting that the team is working towards presenting memoranda before President Muhammadu Buhari for assessment and necessary actions.
“The primary purpose of our visit is to sensitize the people in the state of the fact that Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission is embarking on an exercise to review vertical formula of sharing the allocation revenue the three tiers of government.’’