DELTA State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has called for a review of the revenue allocation formula in favour of states and local governments.
Okowa spoke when he received the National Executive Council members of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) in Asaba, led by National President Mr Kolade Alabi.
The governor said the review was necessary in view of the huge responsibilities facing states and councils.
According to the governor, the local government administration was growing and “it is our hope that we get them stabilised financially so that they can impact on the lives of our people.
“I believe that local government administration must be autonomous and here in Delta, we have never tampered with their funds, rather we assist them and provide bailout funds for them on a monthly basis to augment their payment of salaries.
“We have generally as a nation, made local government administration take-up serious responsibilities like payment of local government council staff and primary school teachers’ salaries without providing the necessary funds for them.
“We need to have a re-work of the revenue allocation formula because none of the arms of government should shy away from that. We need to be able to provide funding so that they can be able to reach out to the people and the people will feel their impact.”
ALGON president said the group was in Delta for its National Executive Council meeting and that the choice of the state was in recognition of the accomplishments of Okowa in council administration.
Alabi said ALGON was not a pressure group or a contract-awarding group, but a partner in developmental governance.
On teachers’ salary increment announced by the Federal Government, Alabi said ALGON was not against it but noted that states and councils should have been part of the decision.
“We, therefore, advocate a review of the revenue sharing formula because if there is a review to release more funds to states and local governments, we can now handle our affairs as regards increment in teachers’ salaries and all other things begging for the attention of local governments,” he said.
State Chairman of ALGON Itiako Ikpokpo thanked the association’s president for choosing Delta as host.
Ikpokpo said over the years, there had been strong consistency in efforts at ensuring that local government administration got better.
But he noted that the running of council administration in Delta was a reference point for other states to emulate.