Saturday, March 6, 2021
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About two years ago, TERRIFIC HEADLINES wrote dispassionately, pleading with the ‘’big brother’’ (Federal Government) to consider the plight of the ‘’junior brothers’’ (State governments) in implementing the decision on assistance tagged bailout loans. Of course, loans are meant to be repaid. The conditional budget support fund was approved and released through the Central Bank of Nigeria to 35 State governments in 2017. We reasoned that perhaps there could be some concessions and compassion given the likely effects of the repayment decision on States and local governments. It is also possible that the federal authorities sighted a few issues that compelled them to be adamant on demand for repayment. That was the situation we reported two years ago on moves to correct the imbalance in the financial structure of the three tiers of government. Regrettably, we have not come out of the situation now compounded by COVID-19, that has forced the global community back to table to redraw and reconfigure economies. Recovery within a few months is a mirage in a situation that has pushed even First World nations into recession THE ROLE OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY IN MOVING NIGERIA FORWARD & THE REVENUE ALLOCATION FORMULA — The fact really is that the National Assembly has a prominent, perhaps the most important part to play in ensuring that the nation moves forward. Fortunately, the assembly is populated by sympathizers of the Executive arm of government who are also members of the same political party; hence they could easily agree to move at a fast pace to grow Nigeria. Fears have been expressed that it is very possible for some States to go destitute very soon if care is not taken and proper measures are not adopted up and down to review some policies of government. I remember attending the South-West Zonal Session on revenue allocation and mobilization organized by the Senate Appropriation Committee in Ibadan. The gathering considered suggestions on revenue sharing formula over ten years ago. So, if State governors cannot hold their representatives at the national assembly by the neck to work on a model that would tinker with the revenue allocation formula, there probably is no hope that another ‘’bail out’’ by the federal government by way of readjusting payments would do wonders. SHARING THE NATIONAL CAKE  The Chairman of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation & Fiscal Commission, (RMAFC) Elias Mbam has last year disclosed that the agency…

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