Abuja (National Conference Report) – The Committee on Devolution of Power at the on-going National Conference in Abuja has on Monday May 12, 2014 proposed a new revenue sharing formula, aimed at empowering the development efforts of States and Local Governments in the country.
The report from the National Conference on May 13, 2014 indicated that the Committee, after a four hours close-door session announced a unanimous decision to trim the existing Federal Government revenue allocation of 52 percent and bringing it down by 10 percent to 42 per cent.
It continued that if the proposal receives the consent of the Conference in plenary and is used to amend the existing sharing formula, the 36 states of the federation will receive 35.0 percent allocation from the Federation Account while Local Governments would receive 22.5 percents.
According to the Co-Chairman of the Committee, who is the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah in his statement to journalists at the end of the meeting, the decision of the Committee was guided by the belief that some funds must be devolved to States and Local Governments for greater development impact.
“This did not take away the understanding and acceptance of the fact that the Federal Government at present and until decided otherwise, still has the military, the police and the entire security machinery to fund,” he said.
Obong Attah observed that during the Committee’s deliberation on the ‘Exclusive and Concurrent Legislative Lists, some items which were earlier funded exclusively by the Federal Government have been moved to the Concurrent Legislative List for the involvement of State Governments.
He added that while deciding on the revenue sharing formula, consideration was given to other decisions that might be arrived at by other committees with particular regards to the status of the Local Government Areas.
He further inferred that if the Committee that is directly responsible for political restructuring recommends the termination of the existing 774 Local Government Areas, the revenue allocated to the Local Governments will go to the States.
In another development, the Committee in a follow-up meeting after the media briefing by Obong Victor Attah deliberated on the derivation formula and members could not arrive at any positions after heated debates.
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