Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike, has urged the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission to reduce revenue accruable to the Federal Government from the federation account to 40 per cent, and increase those of states and local government councils to 40 and 20 per cent respectively.
The governor said the current revenue sharing formula that allowed the Federal Government to take 52.68 per cent, and the states and local government councils to take 26.72 per cent and 20.60 percent respectively, was unacceptable.
Wike made the assertion when members of the RMAFC, led by its chairman, Elisa Mbam, paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
The governor observed that despite the changes that the country had been through in the past 29 years, it was regrettable that it had continued to use the 1992 revenue formula prescribed by the military.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Kelvin Ebiri titled ‘Wile calls for upward review of revenue allocation to states’ and made available to journalists on Wednesday.
Wike faulted the use of 1992 population figure, public school enrolment and public hospital bed spaces, land mass as formula for allocation of revenue.
He argued that a more equitable formula should also take into cognisance current population figure as well enrolment in private schools and number of bed spaces in private hospitals.
“Using the same formula of 1992 as a basis for revenue allocation in this country is so unfortunate. And to worsen the situation under a democratic dispensation, since 1999 till now, our country has not reviewed the revenue allocation formula” Wike stated.
Governor Wike urged the commission to reduce the revenue accruable to the federal government to 40 percent because the it has abdicated its responsibility of providing security and basic infrastructure to the federating states.
“You people should reduce the percentage of the federal government. Give them 40 percent. Give the states 40 percent, give Local Government 20 percent. In that way, most of the responsibilities that belong to the federal government will now be taken away and given to the States,$ he added.
He noted that the current centralised federal system in operation in Nigeria has made it impossible for most states to look inwards and harness their potentiall, saying the country’s vast resources, will continue to amount to nothing if the states are not allowed to use their resources to drive and determine their development.
“We cannot talk about operating a federal system without having a fiscal federalism. It is practically impossible. Let’s cancel that word federalism, we are operating a unitary system.
“But you cannot be saying we are operating a federal system, at the same time operating a centralised system,” the governor said.
He expressed reservation about the willingness of the present federal government to implement the recommendations of the revenue mobilisation and fiscal commission, which is currently holding public hearing on new revenue sharing formula across the six geopolitical zones.
Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) chairman, Elisa N. Mbam explained that one the major mandate of the commission was to review from time to time the revenue allocation formular to conform with changing realities.
Mbam explained that it has become necessary to review the current formular because the last review was done in 1992. He observed that there has been a lot of changes in the political and socio-economic situation of the country.
According to him, the data that will be collated from the states will help the commission to arrive at a fair revenue formular.
“We believe that what we will get from states will help us to come up with a revenue formular that will be fair, just and equitable,” he stated.
Senegal Records First African Win at Qatar 2022 World Cup
Senegal have become the first African country to win a game in the ongoing World Cup after a 3-1 win over the host nation, Qatar, on Friday.
With Senegal’s win, the hope of the host nation appears to be hanging, as their qualification to the next round is becoming really slim.
Goals from Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou and Bamba Dieng were enough to beat Qatar, who will be eliminated if Group A leaders, The Netherlands, avoid defeat to Ecuador later on Friday.
Unlawful Imprisonment: Kanu Sues NIA DG, Demands N20bn
The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has sued the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar, for imprisoning him (Kanu) in Kenya for eight days, before his extradition to Nigeria.
The special counsel to the IPOB leader, Alloy Ejimakor, disclosed this on Wednesday morning, via his Twitter handle, were he posted a pictures containing the suit filed, where he described Kanu’s detention in Kenya as “false imprisonment.”
Ejimakor said the suit was prompted by new evidence gathered implicating the DG beyond the “infamous extraordinary rendition.”
Ejimakor said, “Yesterday (Wednesday) I filed a suit against Ahmed Abubakar, the DG of National Intelligence Agency (NIA) for his eight days ‘false imprisonment’ of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in discovered evidence that implicated the DG/NIA beyond the infamous extraordinary rendition.”
According to the suit, the court gave Abubakar 14 days to appear or be represented in court, adding that failure to show up would mean that judgment would be given in the DG’s absence.
The suit filed in the High Court of Abia State reads in part, “You are hereby commanded that within 14 days after the service of this Writ on you inclusive of the day of such service, you do cause an appearance to be entered for you in the Umuahia Judicial Division of the High Court in Abia State in an action at this suit of Mazi Nnnamdi Kanu….and take notice that in default of your so doing, the claimant may proceed therein and judgment may be given in your absence.
“The claimant’s claim is for (i) A declaration of this Honorable Court that the defendant’s arrest of the claimant and his imprisonment of the claimant at said location in Nairobi, Kenya amounted to false arrest and false imprisonment.
“(ii) A declaration that the defendant acted in bad faith and/or abused his public office in falsely imprisoning the claimant at the said location in Kenya. (iii) An order of this Honorable Court directing the defendant to pay the claimant the sum of N20,000,000,000.00 (Twenty Billion Naira only) being general and exemplary damages…”
This comes just few days after Kanu’s N20bn suit against the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami was thrown out by the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The Story Behind Peter Obi’s Grounded Plane in Lagos
There was a mild drama at the Lagos airport on Wednesday when supporters of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party and some party chieftains were prevented from boarding a campaign plane for their rally in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
The Deputy Director-General and Campaign Manager for LP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Oseloka Obaze, was the first to raise the alarm following a report that the plane had been grounded.
The former Nigerian diplomat took to his verified Twitter handle on Wednesday to tweet that the ‘Obi-dent aircraft’ was grounded by the ‘powers that be,’ citing “regulatory reasons.”
When contacted, the National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure, confirmed the report.
He said, “We have just finished our rally in Ibadan. It is true that the plane meant to convey our NWC and NEC members for campaign was grounded by the powers that be. But we were not deterred by the plane that was grounded.
“This is what we have been saying about this country. It is not the first time it is happening. They have been using every opportunity to ensure we don’t get to do anything in this country.”
Also, the Head of Media for Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation, Diran Onifade, released a statement to express the PCC’s displeasure at the turn of event.
However, in their response, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority denied the allegations and explained that the plane belonged to a scheduled operator.
It said, “The so-called grounded plane belongs to a scheduled operator i.e. normal commercial flight. The flight crew of the said aircraft returned to the base on their own to check on an issue that developed soon after it took off. This is the normal and right thing to do. What they did is what we termed safety precautionary flight measures. NCAA was not involved in this decision.”
Meanwhile, Obi promised citizens that he would not build on tribalism and religion if elected in 2023 and assured them of his plan to secure the country and unite its citizenry.