…seeks state, LG autonomy
This is as he also advocated that while local governments control their resources, more allocations should go to the states provided they will take more responsibilities.
Speaking when the Chairman of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mr. Elias Mbam and his commissioners paid him a courtesy call in Abuja, the former vice president said that those ministries should be made to play a regulatory role to ensure standards.
For him, there was too much bureaucracy in those ministries so they should be reduced. However, he was silent on how many should be reduced.
“For instance,” he said, “I don’t believe in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. I don’t believe in the Ministry of Education. I don’t believe in so many ministries. They should leave all those ones to the states and just have them as regulatory bodies to make sure standards are met all over the country. There is too much federal bureaucracy. We should reduce them,” Atiku said.
He assured the chairman of RMAFC of his support and contributions in the new revenue formula, saying that the present revenue allocation formula was overdue for review.
“I want to thank you very much for believing that I can be of help, support or I may have contributions to make in the process of review of the revenue allocation formula as it is presently being implemented. I think it has been long overdue. In some of my comments I have had occasions to say in what areas I disagree with the present formula.
“Having said that, I think the exercise you have embarked on across the country, you will at the end of the day have enough materials to present a very rational and possibly acceptable formula to all parts of this country and to all individuals. I want to, therefore, thank you very much for this your initiative. It is really quite historic in the sense that it has been quite a long time that the commission has undertaken anything of this nature. I want to assure you of my support and co-operation at all times. And I want to thank you very much indeed for this session and I hope we will make the best use of this opportunity you have created for us to interact,” the vice president noted.
Earlier, the RMAFC chairman had sought for Atiku’s support and contributions in the formulation of the new revenue allocation formula.
According to Elias, the last revenue formula was reviewed in 1992 contrary to the constitutional provision of five years.
“As you may know sir, the commission is one of the 14 executive bodies established by the Constitution of 1989. One of our major responsibilities is to review, from time to time, revenue allocation formula to ensure conformity with changing realities provided that any formula reviewed and approved shall remain in force for at least five years. The present formula we are using now was last reviewed in 1992. And even the present one as it is now was a modification order issued by the then president in 2004. So, from 2004 till now it is already nine years, not to talk of 1992. So the commission feels strongly that the present formula is overdue for review. And accordingly, we have commenced the process of the review. We have advertised, called for memoranda from Nigerians.
“We have visited the 774 local governments to sensitise them and the 36 states and the FCT. We have also gone to other federations similar to our fiscal arrangements and studied their own arrangements to know which areas that will best suit our own.