Thursday, 21 October 2021

South South Zonal States Support the creation of a special revenue status for C'River


The Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission recently commenced zonal hearings across the country in line with its constitutional mandate to "review revenue allocation formula and principles from time to time to conform with changing realities." 

The focus of the current hearings, as provided by the Commission, is on vertical allocation which focuses on the revenue sharing formula strictly between the 3 tiers of the executive, namely, Federal, State, & Local Government authorities. The current formula allocates approximately 52.68% of revenues to the Federal Government, 26.72% to the states, and 20.60% to Local Government councils.

Prior to the commencement of the South South Zonal hearings, the six states of the zone made a decision to present a joint communique to address the situation as it concerns the zone. Ahead of the presentation of the joint resolution, His Excellency Senator Professor Ben Ayade established a committee to elucidate the position of Cross River State, with a proposition to the other zonal states for the inclusion of a special status for the State. The crux for the demand of this special status for the State is the ceding of its oil wells to Cameroun, a decision that was made without the input or consent of the citizens of the State. 

The mandate for negotiating and lobbying for the position of Cross River State among the states of the Zone fell to the State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Asuquo Ekpenyong Jr who after a series of engagements and lobbying convinced the other 5 states of the S/S zone to support the CRS position. 

At the zonal hearing, the position presented by the South South zone included a review of the vertical allocation formula to 35% for the Federal Government, 42% to the States, & 23% to the Local Government Councils; and the creation of a special status for Cross River State with the establishment of 1.5% of the Federation Account allocated to Cross River monthly.

Speaking on the proposed special status, Mr Asuquo Ekpenyong Jr stated that "The implementation of a special status of 1.5% funding from the Federation accounts for Cross River State is hardly enough, but will be the commencement on the long road to adequately compensate the good people of Cross River State for the injustice meted out by previous administrations in the ceding of Bakassi.

The loss of littoral status and consequent loss of 13% derivation earning status was an insult on an injury that should have been resisted vehemently by previous administrations. The Senator Professor Ben Ayade administration is resolute in its determination to ensure that justice is not just done but seen to be manifestly done as far as this issue is concerned."