THE state government yesterday demanded for one percent share in the revenue allocation formula, maintaining that the special status of the state and its prosperity directly or indirectly has multiplying effects on the South-West region and the entire country.
The state government also proposed that the revenue sharing formula should be 34 percent for Federal Government including one percent for FCT – Abuja, 42 percent for state governments, 23 percent for local governments and one percent for the etate (Special Status) as against the current revenue allocation formula, which are 52.68 percent, 26.72 percent and 20.60 percent for Federal Government, 36 state governments and 774 local governments respectively.
The demands were made by Governor Sanwo-Olu at the opening of a two-day South-West Zonal Public hearing on review of revenue allocation formula by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) held on Monday at Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island.
Sanwo-Olu in a memorandum on review of Revenue Allocation Formula he submitted to the RMAFC declared that allocating one per cent for Lagos State (Special Status) and allowing the three tiers of government to share 99 percent in a new revenue sharing formula is very straightforward, self-justifying and in no way controversial.
He said the review of the current revenue allocation formula is long overdue, noting that the best way to guarantee national progress and development is by paying attention to sub-national development because the national is a summation and a reflection of the sub-national.
He also reiterated the call for the state to be accorded special status in recognition of its huge financial commitments to infrastructure and provision of basic amenities for the increasing population of its residents, as well as its preeminent contribution to the national coffers.
He said the call, which has been re-echoed at different fora and at various levels and tiers of government, cannot be over emphasised, especially against the backdrop of the current economic situation of the country, the aftermath of the EndSARS protests a year ago, and the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, for which the state has been the national epicenter.
“Our demand is a sharing formula that is just, fair and equitable; reflecting the contribution of stakeholders to the common purse; and also one that enhances the capacity of state and local governments to deliver high-quality services and the full dividends of democracy to the greatest number of our people.
“The state is no doubt the nation’s commercial capital, and population center. The level of funding required to service the state’s social and public infrastructure is so significant that it will be difficult for the State to bear the burden for much longer under the present arrangement.
“I should say that it will actually be unfair to expect the state to bear this heavy burden on its own. It is therefore necessary to give due consideration to all the variables that support our advocacy for a Special Status.
“The call for a special status for the state is not a selfish proposition; it is in the best interest of the country and all Nigerians, for the state which accounts for about 20 per cent of the national GDP and about 10 per cent of the nation’s population to continue to prosper,” the governor said.
Justifying the need for the state to be accorded special status, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the state is more than just another state in the Nigerian federation, noting that there is no tribe in the country that has no significant stake in the state.