Akeredolu Wants Each Tier Of Government To Fix Its Salaries, Allowances
The Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu has faulted the uniform salary structure for federal, states and local governments in the country. Akeredolu wants each tier of government to fix the salaries and allowances for its staff in the spirit of federalism.
Akeredolu made the call in Akure, the Ondo State capital at the zonal public hearing on the review of packages for political office holders, public servants and judicial officers organized by the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
The governor said the current practice of federal government fixing the salaries and allowances for other federating units, is anti-federalism.
He also faulted the payment of all revenue accruing to the three tiers of government into a federation account for sharing in accordance with formula dictated by federal government.
Akeredolu wants every state to be allowed to control its resources and pay tax to the centre.
Revenue Mobiloization and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) Chairman, Mohammed Sheu said the ongoing review aims at closing the gap in the salary disparity.
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He also explained that socio-economic indicators and other variables had changed since the last review was done in 2008.
Akeredolu, who lamented that the autonomy of the States has been eroded greatly, lamented that the Houses of Assembly, have been relegated to the fringe in the affairs of their respective States.
The governor, who identified Revenue generation as the bedrock of fiscal policies, urged the Federal Government to allow Local economies to flower.
“The appropriation of the sources of wealth of various States by agencies of the Federal Government is the fundamental reason for retardation.
“Our recent pre-independence history, and immediately after it, depicts the immense potentialities present in the various regions and the manner through which the political leaders availed themselves of them.
“The level of development attained in all these semi-autonomous political entities points at the possibilities of attaining greatness if the current structure is tinkered with to reflect true federalism.
“It is on record that public officials in the defunct South Western Region were the highest paid in the country. The visionary leaders ensured that the best were recruited to serve the people.
“Each Region determined, to a very great extent, issues bordering on effective governance. Development was, therefore, achievable within a short period.
“The challenges encountered by the nascent Republic led to crises in different parts of the country, especially the South West and the Middle Belt.
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“The incursion of the military into the political affairs of the country engendered a devastating effect on the country.
“The promulgation of Decree No. 34 of 1966, which abolished the Regions and replaced them with the so called Provinces, laid the foundation for the erosion of values and determination to excel through healthy rivalries which existed among them.
“The creation of 12 States out of these artificial entities, erroneously called Provinces by the military, to defeat the secessionists, ensured the perpetuation of the policies which militated against the ability of the erstwhile upwardly mobile socio-political entities to be creative. The oil boom of the early 70s encouraged redundancy, progressively.
“The discovery of oil, the reason for the remarkable progress of other countries, has thus become a huge curse on the land. Only those who benefit from this current dysfunction will want it to continue.
“The country continues to pretend that all is well when it is dithering on the brink of collapse. All patriots must be resolute in challenging the present structural defects which stifle growth.
“The system which allows a very strong central government and weak dependencies is not capable of development.
“It will be much more profitable for the Federal Government to dissipate less energy in its pursuit of the misnomer touted as local government autonomy.” He said.
Akeredolu, further called for the need to tinker with the current structure to allow real creation of wealth rather than concentrate all attention on how to share it.
“Most Nigerians participating in this public hearing will conclude, hastily, that its purpose is self-serving and highly insensitive to the plight of the ordinary people.