The State Commissioner for Finance, Nsikan Linus Nkan has canvassed for amendment of Akwa Ibom State indices for federal allocation to enable the State earn its due benefits.
The Commissioner made the call when he received a team from the Revenue Mobilization And Fiscal Commission(RMAFC) who paid him a courtesy call in Uyo recently.
Mr Nkan who noted there’s been shortfall in the State Allocation from federation account in the last couple of months, said the issue has been tabled before the appropriate authority and called on the commission to aid in facilitating the correction in its derivation.
The Commissioner who opined that revenue was an indispensable tool for the development pursuit of government of any state or nation, said Governor Emmanuel-led administration has taken concrete steps to diversify the State revenue sources to stimulate wealth for the socio-economic advancement of the people.
Nkan noted that given the present economic reality in Nigeria, State government had to look inwards to generate more funds to cushion the effect of the dwindling economy occasioned by the drastic drop in oil price.
He applauded RMAFC for initiating and embarking on the pilot study on revenue to fashion out how the revenue base of the federal, States and Local governments could be expanded, describing the survey mechanism as a dynamic response to tackle the prevailing financial challenges in the country. He noted that ” we cannot continue to do the same thing and expect a different result, hence an evolution of new ideas to either alternate or improve our main sources of revenue “.
While acknowledging RMAFC as a critical organ of government in view of its pivotal role of revenue mobilization, the Finance Commissioner expressed the states readiness to strengthen partnership with the Commission as well as key into their economic diversification strategies to maximally harness the huge potentials to further increase revenue.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation from the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission, Mr. Welanye Damni said they were in the State to conduct the pilot study on revenue increase which would include obtaining opinion of stakeholders and the tiers of government on their sources of revenue and the possibility of expanding them.
Mr. Damni stated that the survey exercise is imperative considering the dwindling revenue and financial crunch facing the nation and hence the need to carry out a comprehensive review of sources of revenue available to the three tiers of government.
He pointed out that Akwa Ibom State is one of the three States in South-south States chosen for the revenue research in view of its strategic position in the region and called for inputs from state government to aid the preparation of new revenue blueprint.
Mr Damni expressed optimism that the study would yield mutual benefits for both the State and federal government as there would be a synergy to create ideas to bolster fiscal efficiency, effectiveness in revenue mobilization such as broadening the tax net, blocking of revenue leakages, as well as securing public buy-in on voluntary tax compliance