The Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that all looted monies recovered by the federal government are paid into the consolidated revenue fund and shared among the 36 states of the federation for the benefit of the states.
Rt. Hon. Luke gave the advice Tuesday at the House of Assembly complex while declaring open a one-day public hearing on the Revenue Administration Bill 2016, organized at the instance of the House Committee on Appropriation and Finance. The bill is titled A Bill to make provision for the for the Administration and Collection of Revenue Due to the Government of Akwa Ibom State and Local Government Councils in Akwa Ibom State and to establish the Relevant Administrative Structures and other Matters Connected therewith.
Rt. Hon. Luke spoke on the need for the President to follow the provisions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which makes it mandatory for all monies to be put in the consolidated revenue account.
While commending Governor Udom Emmanuel for his drive towards increasing the internally generated revenue of Akwa Ibom state, the Speaker said: ‘’I am making this as personal opinion; all the monies recovered in the course of the fight against corruption should be shared to all the states. The money should be channeled into the consolidated revenue account of the federation and should be shared among the states for the benefit of the ordinary Nigerian’’.
Speaking on the importance of the public hearing on the revenue administration bill, Rt. Hon. Luke stated that the exercise was in line with the avowed commitment of the 6th assembly to carry the public along in the legislative business of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly.
He said the gathering was meant to collect and assess possible contributions from stakeholders and members of the public in order to guide the legislature in the passage of an acceptable revenue collection and administration bill for the state.
The speaker informed that inputs that would be collected from members of the public shall form part of the legislative decision of the lawmaker s on the establishment of administrative structures that will boost Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, at both the state and local government levels.
He also remarked that contributions by industry experts will help in setting the wheels in motion for success as the state hopes to increase her IGR.
Earlier, the Chairman , House Committee on Appropriation Finance, Hon. Usoro AkpanUsoh in his opening speech, explained that the Public hearing is aimed at gathering inputs from members of the public in order guide the lawmakers in the consideration and passage of the revenue bill.
The lawmaker stated that the dwindling revenue profile of the state occasioned by the fall in the price of oil as the global market was affecting the revenue according to the state from the federation, saying there was need to look inwards in increasing the revenue base of the state.
The assembly committee Chairman pleaded with members of the public and other stakeholder to co-operate the House of Assembly, noting that the taxation is an age long practice which has received legal moral and religious backing
Other who spoke in support of the revenue bill include, commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akan Okon and other stakeholders.