The seven states of the North West geopolitical zone yesterday demanded the lion’s share of revenue allocation for both states and local government areas.
Specifically, the North West states are insisting that the two tiers of government should take 60 per cent, while the federal government parts with 40 per cent.
The North West states comprising Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Jigawa, Kebbi and Zamfara made the demand in their respective presentations at the zonal public hearing on the review of the current Revenue Allocation Formula in Kaduna.
Representatives of the states noted that the second tier of government is also saddled with funding of security apparatus which is the sole responsibility of the federal government.
In his presentation on behalf of Kano State, secretary to the state government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, expressed worry that the federal government was taking too much of the Revenue than the states and local government areas.
He said, “Federal government should take 41%, States 34%, LGAs 24% and we need an independent one percent for Kano State because it is a mini Nigeria”.
Katsina State called for 35% for States, 25% for local government and 40 percent for federal government.
According to Katsina State commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Farouk Jobe, “the revenue allocation was long overdue and its review is timely because it is getting to 30 years that the allocation was reviewed”.
Jigawa State commissioner for Finance and Budget, Alhaji Ibrahim Babangida Umar, also argued that states and local governments should take lion share of the allocation for rapid development, proposing 44 percent for federal, 34 percent for states and 22 percent for local government.
For Kaduna, permanent secretary in the state’s ministry of Finance, Mohammed Shuaibu, said, “Certain percentage should be set aside for poverty/insecurity-ridden states, and 13 percent derivation should remain, but extended to mineral resources also”.
In his Keynote address at the event, Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, said since the late 1960s the federal government has retained powers and resources similar to those exercised by the sovereign in unitary systems.
He stated: “Most of the 36 states rely on the revenues from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC). The federal government retains the largest chunk of federation resources. It does too much but is too stretched and so does little well. Yet, the things that really matter to citizens are state and local government functions.
“For instance, basic and secondary education, primary health care and agriculture are subnational responsibilities. But the way things are, many states have to support the federal security agencies deployed within their jurisdictions, despite the fact that security is a federal responsibility.
“Therefore, the argument for a significant review, in favour of states, of the vertical revenue allocation formula is compelling. The Federal Government has to consolidate its focus around security, foreign affairs and monetary and fiscal policy. It should allow the states and the local governments to get more revenues to deliver better governance at the grassroots.
“The APC True Federalism Committee, which I chaired, had recommended a review of the revenue allocation formula in favour of the states. In my view, this is the most efficient way to adjust the finances of the federation while transiting to a wider devolution of powers and responsibilities.
“I do not wish to preempt the submissions that the states in this zone will be making at this event. But I will state that the progress and development of our country depends on well-functioning states. The revenue allocation formula is critical to that”.
In his open remarks, chairman of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Engineer Elias Mbam, gave reasons why revenue allocation has not been reviewed for 29 years contrary to constitutional provisions that stipulates a review every five years.
Mbam disclosed that due to socio-economic and political changes in the country, the allocation was last reviewed in 1992.
He noted: “As you may all be aware, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), by virtue of paragraph 32 (b), part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ( As Amended), is empowered, “to review from time to time the Revenue Allocation Formula and principles in operation to ensure conformity with changing realities, provided that any Revenue Formula which had been accepted by an Act of the National Assembly shall remain in force for a period of not less than five years from the date of commencement of the Act.
“In line with the above constitutional provision and the fact that there had been several socio-economic and political changes in the country since the last review in 1992, the Commission has commenced the process of reviewing the subsisting revenue allocation formula to reflect these changing realities.
“Accordingly, the commission has designed processes and guidelines to ensure adequate participation of Nigerians. In this regard, the Commission has undertaken sensitization visits to all the States and Local Governments to make sure that the generality of Nigerians participate in the process”.
Also, the Kano State government demanded a one per cent special status in the federal revenue allocation formula.
The demand was made in a memorandum presented by the secretary to the state government and head of Kano State delegation, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, Wazirin Gaya, during the North West Zonal Public Hearing on the review of the current vertical revenue allocation formula RMAFC.
Alhaji said the demand is genuine, justifiable and is in no way controversial considering the enormous responsibilities the state is currently shouldering due to the high influx of people displaced or affected by insecurity in neighboring states, including Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, among others.
He also highlighted the status of the state as the most populous in the country and its cosmopolitan and heterogeneous nature as “mini Nigeria”, apart from being the commercial hub for the North that attracts and accommodates people from all parts of the country and beyond, as other reasons for the demand.
The SSG urged the federal government to positively consider the special status’ demand so as to support the development of Kano, particularly in the areas of agriculture, trade and commerce and manufacturing, adding that “it will translate into rapid development for the country generally”.
“Our reasons are for the development of Nigeria as a whole”, he added.
The SSG further described as uneven, unfair and unjust the current revenue sharing formula, which he said is skewed largely in favour of the federal government to the detriment of states and local governments as the federating units.
He said the decision of RMAFC to review the current revenue sharing formula in line with its statutory constitutional responsibilities is commendable, as it is long overdue in view of the changing political, economic, social and ecological realities in the country.
Alhaji further noted that despite taking the lion’s share, the federal government could not effectively and adequately discharge most of its responsibilities in states like ensuring security and provision of healthcare services, which he said were left for the states to take care of.
“The insecurity and violence in the North can be linked to the uneven distribution of the national wealth. Some have too little while others have too much to spend. As federating units, no one should be left in dire need “, he added.
Noting that states spend more than the federal government on healthcare and other services in addition to huge expenditure for the police and DSS, he suggested that states should have a larger share in the revenue allocation formula.
Accordingly, Kano State proposed a new sharing formula of 41 percent for the federal government, 34 percent for states and 24 percent for local governments, while the 13 percent derivation should be maintained.