GOV DICKSON HARPS ON TRUE FISCAL FEDERALISM FOR NIGERIA TO REALISE ITS FULL POTENTIALS
It has again been emphasized that, Nigeria’s quest to be among the developed countries of the world will be easily actualised, if it practices true federalism.
Governor Seriake Dickson made this remarks at a dinner organised by the State Government in honour of officials of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission as well as participants at the 2-day South-South zone public hearing on the review of the nation’s revenue sharing formula in Yenagoa.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Edmund Allison-Oguru, the Governor observed that all the States of the Federation are well endowed with natural and other resources that, if properly harnessed, would help to fast-track the nation’s socio-economic development.
Lamenting the fate of Oloibiri where crude oil was first struck in commercial quantity, Hon. Dickson urged the Commission and other geo-political zones in the Country to appreciate the position of the South-South States on the derivation principle.
While, emphasising, the importance of true fiscal federalism in a democratic system, the Governor noted that upward review of the subsisting 13% derivation principle to 50% would engender healthy competition among the federating units and enhance the economic development of the Country.
“We are at a threshold of history because the mission of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission is going to open a new chapter in the history of this country. And that chapter is where revenue allocation will now be based on the principle of derivation.
“Imagine a future where all the other industrial minerals in all the other states of the country will be exploited as oil and gas are being exploited now and the revenue, a minimum of 50% will go to these various states, you will find that, in total, Nigeria will be better off and all of us will be shocked.
Describing Nigeria as a great country, he called on the people to rise above ethno-religious jingoism to work for national unity and stability.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on all men and women of goodwill from all parts of this country to transcend ethnic and religious limitations to allow us work for a prosperous and united Nigeria where all of us will live in peace and harmony.
Responding, the Chairman of RMAFC, Engr. Elias Mbam assured Nigerians that the views expressed at the various public hearings would be appropriately considered by the Commission.
The Chairman expressed appreciation to the State Government for the honour done his team and enjoined Bayelsans to continually support their Government to move the State to greater heights.
“One of the things the commission preaches apart from sharing formula is diversification. We have been going round the country to say look beyond oil and gas. From what I have seen, Bayelsa State is already qualified beyond oil and gas. When I first came here in 1996, I can tell you that what I saw then compared to what I am seeing today is not imaginable. Then it was basically a village but now it can compare favourably with very old States. I thank the present leadership for all that they are doing in terms of development. I therefore call on every Bayelsan to support the Government to enable it do more”.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State