By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu
The Federal Government has said that a committee led by the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum is already working on an arrangement that would enable states enjoy full control of the solid mineral resources in their domain.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Ernest Umakhihe, stated this on Monday as a panelist, at the joint retreat organised by the Senate Committee on National Planning and Economic Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Finance in Abuja.
He was responding to a demand by panelists at the technical session who berated the current overbearing influence of the federal government on the nation’s resources and called for an arrangement that would make states to generate revenue to meet the needs of their people.
Other panelists included Governor Kayode Fayemi, his counterpart from Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, a former Chairman of the National Planning Commission, Prof Ode Ojowu.
They all agreed a robust, inclusive and sustained national policy that would involve active participation of government at all levels was necessary to tackle the various social and economic challenges currently confronting the nation.
Umakhihe noted that the era where states would rely on the monthly allocation from the federation account to meet their needs would soon be over as the federal government was already addressing certain aspects of resource control.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Ernest Umakhihe said State governments should get their priority right, adding that planning should not be purely based on revenue allocation.
“States should device better way of generating revenue to meet the basic needs of their people. The emphasis at the National Economic Council is the diversification of the economy such that the states would become on their own self sufficient without relying heavily on the allocation from the federation account before they can execute some of their agenda.”