Governors’ Forum seek speedy review of revenue sharing formula

By Timothy Choji, Abuja

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The Nigerian Governors’ Forum NGF says it maintains its stand on the call for a review of the nation’s revenue sharing formula.

Chairman of the forum, Ekiti State Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi disclosed this while speaking to Journalists after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said: “A review of the revenue sharing formula is still the position of the Nigeria’s Governors Forum. We feel that it’s time for the revenue sharing formula to change and we have made a representation to the President and Commander-in-Chief. This has been an ongoing agitation that started way back since the time of President Olusegun Obasanjo down to President Yar’Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan. So, it’s not just something that has been brought out under President Buhari. 

“And you also know, there is a process to this. The process is that the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, which has the responsibility for this would do its own due diligence and consult widely with critical stakeholders. Now that we have a full-fledged RMAFC in place with a Chairman and other members appointed, it is our expectation that this would be taken up by RMAFC with Mr. President.”

He however said that the call for a review of the formula would not affect the implementation of the new National Minimum Wage in the 36 States of the federation.

“Whether that would affect negotiation for the minimum wage, I can tell you no! Minimum wage is a law. But as I have always said, a national minimum wage act is not a general minimum wage review. They are two separate things. Governors are committed to the minimum wage act and no one is going to pay anything less than N30, 000. Some of us have started paying N30, 000, but others want negotiations on the consequential adjustment to end before they start paying the minimum wage. 

“So, consequential adjustment may not necessarily end up being the same, it will be different from state to state. We are not going to adopt hook, line and sinker of what has been adopted between federal government and labour, that is for federal government workers, what happens in state is a different matter. But I can assure Nigerians that no state is going to pay anything less than N30, 000,” he said.

Kano Rift

On the rift between Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje and the Emir of Kano Lamido Sanusi II, the NGF Chairman said all hands are on deck to reconcile the Governor and the Emir, because of the strategic rimportance of Kano State in Nigerian politics.

He said the committee saddled with the task of reconciliation is already working hard and both parties are willing to embrace peace.

“The committee has just started its work. We’ve had preliminary discussions with both parties and we know that they are both desirous of peace in Kano. We have also briefed Mr. President on the mission of this body.

“You may recall that I have been involved in resolving the problem we have in Kano for some time. I have had course as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum of working with some key stakeholders in Kano to bring both parties together and what we are doing now is essentially an expanded committee of the elders chaired by the former Head of States, General Abdulsalam Abubakar and comprising very distinguished Nigerians. 

“Everybody is concerned, Kano is the hotbed of politics in this country. Kano is our own flagship state in APC. But this is not just a party issue, the people that are involved in this primarily are not politicians. The only reason why we are involved is of course because governor Ganduje is our colleague in the Nigeria Governors Forum and we are desirous of pushing for peace” he explained.

Edo Crisis

Similarly, he said the crisis between Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole is being looked into.

“Crisis management in the Governors’ Forum is not a television matter. I can assure you that we are fully aware of what is happening in Edo State. At the level of the party governors forum, we have engaged both parties. We’ve hosted and appealed to both factions and their supporters, we have taken steps and we are still taking steps to ensure that peace reigns in Edo State but that is not the matter for the Nigeria Governors Forum, it’s more of a party issue.” 

 

Emmanuel Ukoh