Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri has called on the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to review some of its revenue sharing parameters in the interest of equity and fairness.
He, made the call in Yenagoa, while declaring open a sensitisation programme on the review of the existing revenue allocation formula organised by the commission.
Represented by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the governor kicked against the continued use of the number of local governments in a state as a yardstick for revenue sharing.
According to him, the formula needed to be looked at again, stating that Bayelsa, with only eight local government areas, but more square kilometers than several states in the country, was being shortchanged.
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Senator Diri maintained that Bayelsa had about 11,000 square kilometers and some of its local government areas like Southern Ijaw were bigger than five or more council areas in some states.
The Bayelsa governor also expressed his displeasure at the decision of the commission allocating revenues accruing from the disputed Soku oil wells to Rivers State, even when the case is yet to be finally determined.
He said: “It is unfair that for a judgment that we are still contesting in court, RMAFC is in a hurry to allocate revenues coming from the Soku oil wells to Rivers.
“We ordinarily had expected that that money would have been kept in an escrow account pending when the case is finally determined. We know that Rivers State has a lot of resources and connections, but our take is that the right thing should be done.
“I say so because this oil dispute we are talking about, RMAFC itself had taken a decision on it several years ago. So, we expect the commission to stand by that decision.
“Secondly, we believe that some of the indicators, you are using to share revenues currently do not promote equity and fairness in this country and therefore not acceptable to us.
“For instance, we do not agree that you should continue to use local government areas as a basis for sharing revenues. It is faulty because the creation of local governments was not done scientifically.
“It was purely political and a case of who was holding the knife and the yam at the time of creating them. And so, those who had the knife cut more to themselves,“ he said.