Delata - Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta has called on Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and other stakeholders to review revenue allocation formula.
Uduaghan made the call at the opening of a two-day sensitisation workshop organised by RMAFC for the South-South zone in Asaba on Monday.
He said the workshop was an opportunity for the commission to see reasons why the formula should be reviewed to 50 per cent from the current 13 per cent.
He said that the review had become necessary because existing indices attested to the fact that challenges in the Niger Delta region could no longer be accommodated by the 13 per cent derivation formula.
He said the workshop, with the theme, ``Economic Diversification for Sustainable National Development’’, was timely given the mono-culture nature of the country’s economy.
According to him, the damage that has been done in the region over the years because of oil explorations in the Niger Delta region is very enormous.
``In a forum like this, the issue of revenue allocation cannot be left untouched; we still believe as a state that 50 per cent of the money derived from oil should come to the South-South region.
``This is because there have been lots of pollution, environmental damage and destruction to aquatic lives and farmland in the region.
``We need to clean up the seas, rivers and the lands but the funds coming now is not enough, so with 50 per cent, we can manage to take care of all these challenges,’’ he said.
Uduaghan appealed to those calling for the removal of the onshore and offshore dichotomy to stop, saying: ``we should promote issues that unite us rather than the one that causes disunity’’.
He said that all South-South states had adopted various strategies to build infrastructure aimed at developing the region without necessarily funds from oil.
He also said that the current situation where the country depended on oil revenue for more than 98 per cent of its total budget should change.
The governor, therefore, called for diversification of the economy to agriculture, solid minerals and other sectors.
Earlier, the RMAFC Chairman, Mr Elias Mbam, had said that the workshop was the third in the series being organised by the commission in each of the six geo-political zones of the country.
He said that the workshop was aimed at sensitising the Federal, State and Local Governments and other stakeholders on the urgent need to diversify their respective sources of revenue.
``It is also envisaged that by organising these workshops on zonal basis, states in each geo-political zones would explore their peculiar potential and share experiences on how to develop the various resource endowments,’’ Mbam said.
He thanked the Delta Government for hosting the workshop and called on all stakeholders to join the commission in the advocacy and mass mobilisation that would engender diversification of the economy.