By Anayo Onukwugha, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has advocated a new revenue sharing formula that will make the states get more money for development.
Wike made the call when he received a delegation of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) on a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt.
The governor stated that the states bear more development burden and would require more money to cater to the needs of the people.
He said: “There cannot be a Federal Government without the States. So, we advocate a new revenue formula that should take more revenue out of the Federal Government and given to the states.
“This is because the burden is more on the States than the Federal Government. So, the states should have more revenue to cater for the people.”
Wike described as unfortunate comments credited to his Bayelsa State counterpart, Senator Douye Diri over ownership of Soku oil wells
The governor stated Soku oil wells belong to Rivers State and urged the Commission to continue to ensure the payment of the accruing revenue to the State.
He said: “It is unfortunate that the Bayelsa State Governor told you when you visited him that you should not pay us revenue from Soku oil wells
“The matter was at the Supreme Court when the National Boundary Commission admitted that they made an error in their 11th edition publication by situating Soku oil wells in Bayelsa State.
“They were therefore, directed to correct the error in their 12th edition publication. When they also failed to effect the correction, we had to go back to the Federal High Court. The court, in its wisdom directed that all revenue accruing from Soku oil wells should be paid to Rivers State.
“That is the position. For Bayelsa State Governor to come up to say that you should not pay us our money is unfortunate.
“If they have filed a matter at the Supreme Court, it is not an injunction to stop the implementation of the subsisting judgement.”
Wike commended the Commission for taking the bold step to correct fraudulent practices adopted by some States in order to gain financial advantage.
The governor assured that the State would continue to interface with the Commission to make their work easy.
He reiterated his determination to deploy all resources received for the development of the state.
Leader of the delegation, Alhaji Mohammed Kabiru Usman said they were on an advocacy and sensitisation tour to the State.
Usman said their 2018 verification exercise was characterised by fraud because some data supplied by some states were very spurious.
He stated such over inflated figures were to make those states get money that they do not deserve and deny others.
Usman said the visit would afford them the time to sensitise the relevant financial officers in the State on the importance of providing correct data to the commission.