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\''EI)NF,s llAY, MAY:l3. :101:1

eCJitoriai --_.....-------------------------------Revisiting revenue sharing system

HEmutldl, ' in N"q;cria '5 public finance management conUllues to barne. I'or two months now, activities ofgo\·e.mmcnt at federal, slate lilld local levels have s lowed down due. 10 reported difficultiCliln u:cessingstatutory allocations. Also caught In the web are NationalYouth Service Co~ members who ha\'e l>ecn leftstnnded IlCross thec:oun try, far a",..y from their homes. Ex('tJ.5e5 b) fede ....1 offici"'" hillgin& tbe hiccups o n a new dectrooie di! bUnRment s)'.'Slem are nol acceptable. Indeed. the frequut II5UI crunch thntamic:ts ministries, departme nt.! and agencies II all levels e:cposes fundamental navfs in our I'e\'eoue collo tion IUtd allocation system thai showd be urgently addressed. Accordin; to til e VOUtil Oevelopment Minis ter, BollUi Abdwllhl, payment of YOUOI corps members' monthly allowance:t W 15 delayed due to a new pllyroll system IIdopted for the fedenl public service. Earlier, "inance Minister, Ngori Okonjo-h~.. eah.. had told fede.-allawmallers that thego\'emment w.s implemenling a Smgle Treasury Account system. Under this, all allCKalions du e to tile MOM will now reside in the Central Bank ,fNlgeria from where the beneficiaryagencies",ill draw for spec ificsp«:.nding n eeds, Thi.. ts II break "iUI the Illlst where: aliocaUons for Ole MOAs wert: sent to their designated commercial bank IICCOunlS.,. systemlhat has IJeen badly abused bycorruplofliclaJs. What omd.Is rail to ~y too, but is widely known, Is Omt tile Nigerian Nal onal Petroleum Co",aration often fails 1.0 remit crudr .oil sal':5 earnin p 10 t he Federati.on Account on time, thereby de la; ing the sharing .of feduaUy collected revenue! by the tlu".oe l iers .of government. It is indeed a strange federal polity tlla' re .del'S its (:Onstitucnt unit.! helpless until 1"C\o'Cnue is aJlocated fl om th.e centre! And it l5 bafiling that neltherll1e President')' n Ir the National A'iSembly that has wide .onrsighl powers Wide r Ute: Constituti.on 11M s hown any determinllti.on to rein in tht NNPC which continues to openlte a1most like a state--withi n-ft-state! &lbeparli unenl makll':'§ mO\'eStoamendthe. 1999 Constitution. it will need t.o without fail. amend thosesect.ions that violale Ule federal princ I,le. W'tkipedia describes federalism IS "a systenl o f gO\'erTImellt ill which sove reignty is constitutionally divided between a cetIU·I.l g.overning a uthority lind conslltuellt 1)()litiati uni15 (states or provinccsr, SU«essful fedenltions such .., the United 5 a tes, Can.-ula. Australia. BnzillUtd Gennany d.o nnt opente' it.h the constiluent states or provinttS lied to the financial a pn 'n strin p of the central govern ment. There is much to r-e..:ommelld in o ur discal-ded 1963 Cons titutio n that ga\'C tonsidenble IUl.onomyto thedefwlct four ~ons, includillg tJle

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control O\"er I'e\"enuesfrom natural resoun:e:sprodlK'ed in Uleir own ~ions, It definitel)' makes morese:rlSe for states t.o retain 50 per cent Ofl'e\"ellUesellmcd from natural resources, 5e.nd 20 percell t to Ole centre a nd share 30 percent with otlierslllte.s as obta.ined in the F1rst Republicthan the Cllf"T"l'.nllllomaly where o nl)' 13 per ttnt of crude oil earnings is gh'en IS derh.. tion to the o il producing states while the centre keeps a hefty 5:1 per cent of all fcdera1lycolle.ded re\'e:Dues. The s tate gO\'ernors s hould wake up t.o their responsibilities lind pre5.!lslrongly for fiscal feden.lism . E\"er}'stllie has within its own territ.ory, adequa te ag.ricult.u raJ lind mine....1resou~ 10 make il self-sufficient. The 34 mineral types identified as ready for exploitation by Ole. M.inistry of Solid Minerals De-.-.:iopment arespr-ead all O\'er the 36states and the Federal Capil a l Territory while Nigeria has vast arable land. TIle states should no longer be comfortable trudging ha.nd-in-cap every m.onth toAbujato collect crumbs from the federal Labl.e . The cultllre of sharing without tangible results that saw the three tiers shuing Nln.S billio n IS "fuel subsidy savings" on Monday s hould end in fa\'ollrofgreateremphasison in te.malty generated re:\"t~nues. Delays under , .. rimlS guises in remitting the alIocations.of MOAs a.re oOell driven by convption. Qkonjo-Iweala s h ould e~ lhat this latest delay is the lasll!lDd plug all loopholes that enabled federal civil 5en'I.nts to steal N450 billion from aUocatedsums in :1010aJone, acconling toa World Rank report released in April 2011. Asfortlleout-of-control NNPC. tllecoru;titutionalsafcgunrds lind re.le\'ant laws compelling accountability should be. strictly applied. '11e NNPC shou ld no lunger be. aJlowed to operate for )~1I1'5 .on e nd without submitting its comprehen..<;i\"e lI udited aeeounts to the appropriate authorities while the parliament s howd insiston.§CrUtinising its earnings and expenditure. The o ngoing constitutiowtl review IlIld Icgi.slati\"e session provide a n opportunity to amend o r s tre.ngthen th e laws guiding financlalaccountabiJityto depri\'e the NNPCand the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Oiez.ani Alison-Madue ke., the leeway to conUnue lodaim legal bllcking f.orthe corporation's penchant for nmning am.ok ~ith taxpayers' resources ",i UI no modicum of accountability. The National Assembly s hould hold Presidenl Goodluclc Jonathan responsible for aJlo~ing Ole NNPC under h is WIItch to run away "'i th its reckless conduct. And as it goes about it. the parliament s hould nol rcle.nt until there isa p roper accounting f.or tile NI. 7 trillion fuel s ubsidy fralld .

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QOt be mote than l.SO words 101110 and e-m.llied 10: I.Ippunch@ punc:hnl-rom Such ietll!l'1l ml$ con· taiD ..Titer'lI full names (nOl initllls) and ilKldresa,.nd be I)-ped double-

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space.. writen may no looser send lettera in paper format.

The G8 and Africa's food security In the lead up to the 08 Summit, Alliance for a Green Rr:mlution in Africa stood ....ith the U.s. Presidenl, Bank Obema, and African heads .of state to mark the launch of next phase of its shared conlmitment to achieving sJobaI food sccurity. Focused on engaging the private sector in funding Igricultural development, this initiative Pf'e5CIIts a new opportunity to find practical solutions to the ikvastating food crises thaI still plague Africa. We hll\"e achieved common consenslLS on what needs to be d.one - whal smallholder farmers in Nigeria and the rest of the continent need; suppor1ive poIM:ies, better seeds, aa:e55 to finance. fer1i1isers, skills de>.-do!lment and extenstOn .5e1'\1ces, national re5eaJ'I:b $)'$Iems, and market infntstructun!. Early results, based on AGRA's efforts to meet t.hese needs over the last five years. are very encouraging. Due. to the ooIlecti~ efforts of African governments. the global donor community including the 08. rt!:SNrcll instltutlOllS, the pri\"lIle se:ctOf", fanners' organisations and NGOs. we have seen remarkable progress - but now we mlLSl redouble our efforts.. At L'Aqu.ila, G8 countries stepped up, following Camp David they mlLSt scale: up, speed up and invesl up. We Ire at a critical IUrnmg paml. To make tJle ITl()Ig of recent momentum, the G8 leaders. African governments and the pnvate sect.or need 10 take. the foilowlIlg s1ep6 10 ddiver lasting food-secunty solutions. First, G8 countries, African '.(1I."ernments and the pri\1lte sector need to put in place: measures to ensure money 15 effecth-d)' disperscd.. Multi-billion dollar commitments hold greal proml5e, but only iftheyte:lCh the fanners. rese.archers, a;ro-du.1en., extensioD woru~ and others who are buildingAfricn's agricultural economy. Realistic pledges with meaningful aerountabilily are. absolutely

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Second, mternati.onal Ind African g(1l."eI"Illncnls need to build structures that funnel funds t.o agriculture's pri\lIle sector economic de\-dopment, Gil"ell the privatesector focus of the new imtaatil"e, il is critical1y important to scale up mechanisms, like the Africa EmerpMse Chal1en&e Fund. that permit funding Ihrollgh the privale sedor or other n.on-sillte actors like AGRA and fanne~' orpnisations. Currently. funding continues to ~ channelled all1lO6t exclusively through public institutions, We need t.o provKle support that "'ill enable in\'eStment In go where it is most likely to be used property and prontabl)' withm Africa's privtlte se.c:tCK" Third. we must liste.n 10 lhe smallholder farmer and small agri-business owners across Africa They are the experts, tirelessly worldnglo 1tlO\'1!! thecontinent forward. They will tell WI what they need on the. ground to be .5Ul'CeSSful. AGRA supports an approach that is coordinated globally. but is African led and focused on smallholder farmers.. This approach must be equitable, tnlllsparent and accountable t.o the satisfaction of all stakeholders. ~ the dusl settles on the recenl 08 Summit, I hope the leaden; AGRA met at camp David and those we oontinue to meet Icross the continenl will fund their commilments and lake the IxIkl at.1.ion necessary to feed future. generations. -Jane Kon.Jku, l$ th e President of

the Alliollcefor a Gree' l Reuolution in

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THE PUNCH, 23 MAY, 2012