SW Governors Ask, ‘Who Owns The Land’, Ambode Says Revenue Sharing Formula Must Change

 

The Oasis Reporters

July 15, 2017

‘Who owns the Land ‘?
Ajimobi, Ambode and Fayose

The strident calls for Restructuring and Resource Control has gained new apostles away from the South south and South east. The other remaining zone in the south, the South west has joined in.

It started with the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose who took a grand stand to possess it’s lands for it’s people, looked the Fulani herdsmen eyeball to eyeball and declared against open grazing.
The herdsmen blinked.

Next to follow was the Oyo State governor, Isiaka Ajimobi who on May 29th, 2017 while briefing the Press on his Second Term midway mark queried why the Federal government should issue mining licences and keep the revenue when land should belong to States.

The latest apostle of restructuring and a fairer Revenue allocation formula is the influential Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, who has “described the continuous operation of the Federal Land Registry in Lagos as an aberration which the current ongoing Constitutional amendment process must address in line with the principles of fiscal federalism.He made this known on Friday at a retreat of Senate and House of Representatives Committees on the Review of 1999 Constitution held in Lagos. Ambode faulted the Federal Land Registry, which was established when Lagos was the Federal Capital , the Governor said the continuous operation of the registry was an aberration and it ought to have been closed and all titles therein moved to the Lagos State Land Registry” according to TheWill Nigeria .

“He equally called for the restriction of the Land Use Act only to the Federal Capital Territory on the basis of the fact that land had always been and should remain a residual matter for the State Houses of Assembly to legislate upon, hence the need for the Act to become Land Use Law of the States.
“I will also like to express the imminent dangers inherent in the proposed Stamp duties Bill which no doubt seeks to cripple the internally generated revenue due to States in the federation in favour of a Federal Government Agency- NIPOST,” he further argued.

“The Bill is presently before the National Assembly and it is a grave threat to the principles of fiscal federalism and as representatives of the true beneficiaries of the Act as it presently stands, there is need to put an urgent and immediate end to its further coordination by the National Assembly which also has the noble tradition that once a matter is before the Court, all activities on the matter would be suspended.
“The current revenue allocation formula by which the Federal Government takes as much as 52.68% of centrally-collected revenues in the Federation Account, leaving the States and Local Governments with 26.72% and 20.60% respectively has created a glaring and unacceptable imbalance in the financial resources of the three tiers of government.
“The sharing formula should be limited to Federal and State governments. Since Local Governments are to come under the purview of the States, allocations to them should be shared to States as they can have as many Local Governments as they wish. The 774 formula is inequitable” , concluded TheWill.

What is not clear however is whether Mr. Ambode wants a review of the sharing percentages or fiscal federalism in it’s classical form where States retain all that they earn and remit a percentage to the center.
Only him can throw more light on this.

 

Additional Report from TheWill Nigeria

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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