Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Alhaji Mohammed Bello, on Tuesday, called for increased revenue allocation to the area to enhance accelerated development.
He made the call at the grand finale of the public hearing on review of the vertical revenue allocation formula, organised by Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in Abuja.
Bello said that FCT, as the country’s capital, needed more fund to execute some development projects and complete the ongoing ones.
“More than 137 projects are ongoing. We have outstanding liabilities of N82 billion of work done but not paid for, and we need N800 billion to complete the projects, as at July.
“We are currently working on some massive bridges that need to be updated and will be completed in 2023.
“The budget for 2021 was over N300 billion and what we got was less than 25 per cent of it,” he said.
In his remarks, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said that the Federal Government was proposing an increase in revenue allocation to local governments from 20.60 per cent to 23.73 per cent.
He added that it was also being proposed that allocation to the federal government be reviewed from 52.68 per cent to 50.65 per cent and states from 26. 72 per cent to 25.62 per cent, with allocation for derivation remaining 13 per cent.
“Development needs to start getting to the local government for the nation to get fully developed,” he said.
Mustapha stated that the issue of revenue allocation should be handled constructively, especially in the face of dwindling revenue and the need for states to increase their internally-generated revenue (IGR).
“It is an important fact that this review should culminate in improved national development,” the SGF said, adding that the process would culminate in the enactment of an appropriate act by the National Assembly.
Chairman of RMAFC, Mr Elias Mbam, said that the commission had organised public hearing in the six geopolitical zones of the country, with that of the FCT capping it all.
He also said that there had been sensitisation tours to all the states and local governments to obtaining views, opinions and recommendations from stakeholders and other Nigerians from diverse backgrounds on the proposed revenue formula.
According to him, the 1999 Constitution (as amended) empowers the commission to periodically review the revenue allocation formula and the principles in operation to reflect changing realities.
“Consequent upon the constitutional mandate and the obvious changing realities in the nation’s socio-cultural, political and economic environments since 1992, the commission has commenced the process of reviewing the subsisting vertical revenue allocation formula.
“This is to ensure an all-inclusive participation. In the process, the commission invited memoranda from stakeholders by placing advertisement in both print and electronic media,” he said.
Mbam said that the commission had obtained data from relevant agencies for use in the review, adding that studies on fiscal matters relating to allocation of the federation’s revenue were being carried out.