Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has called for an upward review of the revenue allocation to states.
The governor stated this in Government House, Uyo, when a team from the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission led by the federal commissioner, Hon. Sunday Ayang paid him a courtesy visit.
He urged the team to take into cognizance states’ major concerns and work towards tackling their pending financial challenges.
He said “honestly the current sharing formula is not helping matters at all, especially we in the oil producing areas, what you sign into law from the centre is also a major problem, how can you say that a community will take only 3% from the proceeds of the NNPC and it’s generating a lot of heat here but we are trying to manage it.
“Irrespective of going round we all submitted the memoranda of PIB, nothing was taken into consideration
“So, I hope this won’t be a similar exercise and that what we contributed will be taken into consideration. What we should do should help build and unite the country, coordinate economic activities for our growth and for the interest of everybody so that we can leave in peace.
“I welcome you to the state, be rest assured you will have all our cooperation and the exercise will go smoothly; please let it be an exercise that will yield success and not another fruitless labour you are embarking on.”
The governor lamented that dispite large oil and gas reserves in Akwa Ibom, the state does not receive revenue from the gas reserves and VAT from international oil companies (IOCs) operating in the state.
“Gas is a major issue, I can’t be a state that sits on the largest quantum of gas in this country and I am not getting anything. Thirty six point one per cent of oil and gas reserve of Nigeria is in Akwa Abom State and I am not getting anything from gas, so how is it computed, there is something wrong somewhere, it is wrongly computed.
“These are raw data that can be verified anywhere. Now there is another controversy of VAT, all VAT from these IOCs where are they paying them to, they are not paying them to us, so there are many things you should look at and develop for the federal government.
“So VAT from IOCs, from oil and gas should actually go to the states these things are produced.
Earlier, the team leader, Sunday Ayang, stated that the purpose of the visit was to sensitize Akwa Ibom people on the review of sharing formula between the federal, states and local governments, where stakeholders will send in their inputs to capture grey areas.
Ayang explained that the constitution makes provision for the exercise to be carried out in five years to further improve on revenue among the three tiers of government, adding that the team is working towards presenting memoranda before president for assessment and necessary action.