Revenue allocation and Constitutional problems

Constitutional problems connected with revenue allocation

The method of allocation of the federal revenue is an issue which in most cases, unavoidably generate a hell of controversies in a Federal State. This is particularly so in a country like Nigeria where the Federal Government is the main collector of national revenues. It is consequently unsurprising that revenue allocation and distribution has generated untold political and constitutional controversies which have led to a series of toughly, bitterly and severely contested legal actions in Nigeria.


Even though the issue of revenue allocation may be viewed by many as a political matter, it is a matter which ought to be left to the guidance of experts. Since the constitution shared responsibilities between the Federal, State and Local governments, the issue of revenue allocation ought to be a constitutional matter. There should be little or no room for political considerations especially as regards the allocation between the federal government on one hand and the state and local governments on the other. Unfortunately, politicians in Nigeria have turned the matter into a purely political issue with total disregard for the scientific and quantifiable financial responsibilities of all tiers of government as laid down in the constitution. Revenue allocation


Supremacy Of Law in relation to the Rule of Law

There have also been fierce controversies and intense disagreements amongst the States as to how to share the revenue allocated to them. In this respect, different revenue allocation principles or formulae amongst the States have been suggested by the Nigerian politicians at various times. These suggested principles include population, equality among the states, minimum developments, derivation, need, independent means of generating revenue and even geographical spread (i.e. size). But none of these principles have been generally accepted by all concerned. No doubt the issue of revenue allocation remains a thorny and controversial one till date.



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