Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has described as worrisome the revenue formula which gives bulk of the resources to the central government at the expense of the federating units which generate the resources, saying that this shows that the nation runs a pseudo- federalism.
The Governor stated this on Monday in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, southwest Nigeria while receiving participants of the Course 36 of the Armed Forces Staff College, Jaji who are on a study tour of the state with focus on internally generated revenue.
Dr Fayemi, who spoke on the theme, said that IGR is important to the independent survival of the federating units in a multi-ethnic federal entity like Nigeria, saying that the “question of who gets what and who spends what and who generates what and how you spend it is a perennial one that is very central to the survival of federalism itself”.
He added that if federalism is about relative autonomy of the federating units, then there is need to create a condition for the federating units to generate the bulk of the resources they are going to spend and to be responsible for spending it while being accountable to those who have provided the resources.
“Majority of our federating units suffer a high degree of dependence on the federation account. When you have a federal entity by their very nature, they are supposed to have a level of autonomy that allows them to generate resources to run their federating unit. There is a sense in which we can argue that we are a pseudo federal entity and when you are not a true federal entity, sometimes it is difficult to also have expectation of real federalism in a pseudo federal entity. In the first republic, at least we used to operate a 50 percent derivation principle and we used to generate from the resources that accrue to you”, he said.
While stating that IGR is a viable option for the survival of the states, the Governor explained how his administration improved on the revenue generation from N109 million in 2010 to N600 million in 2013; adding that government has moved from a position where its IGR was less than five percent of its allocation to 25 percent.
Fayemi, who stressed that government has justified the revenue by putting in place regenerating infrastructure for the use of the people added that the infrastructure has made the state a destination of choice for investors even as no fewer than 40,000 people have visited Ikogosi resort, with at least 10 state of the art hotels have been established by private individuals while telecom giant, MTN, is making not less than N1 billion monthly from the state.
He assured that government would intensify effort in increasing the IGR so that it can deliver more goods to the people.
Earlier, the leader of the visiting team and Deputy Commandant of the Staff College, Rear Admiral Ibok Ibas, had said that the visit was aimed at developing the operational knowledge of the officers and to enable them have first hand information about social, security and other challenges in the state visited.