Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has condemned the federal government’s practice of setting public official wages and benefits to promote uniformity across the nation yesterday.
Akeredolu made this statement at the start of a one-day public hearing in the South-West Zonal on the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission’s (RMFAC) review of the compensation packages for the country’s political, public, and judicial office holders.
The governor argued that authority must be transferred to the federating units while being represented by his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
He said: “This practice is unacceptable in a polity which prides itself as federal. The logic of mopping up revenues accruable to states and local governments into a general pool for sharing, following some Federal Government formulas, is anachronistic and retrogressive.
“Let every State determine the salaries and allowances of its officials. Let the states control their resources and pay taxes to the centre.
“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 to 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.
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 concluded.
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