Banditry: Election may not hold in some Northwestern states - Don
Nigeria map

By OBINNA EZUGWU

Nigeria’s economy depends almost solely on oil revenue which accounts for 95 percent of its foreign exchange earnings and 80 percent of its budgetary revenues. Diversification has not been pursued beyond lip service. Persistent slide in the global oil market in recent years has inevitably had huge impact on the country’s economy. Back from the recession it slid into in late 2016 partly on account of oil price, growth has been slow at barely 2 percent, much is below population growth rate of 2.6 percent.

A potential post oil economy is a certain Armageddon. But recent Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) figures of its 36 states and the federal capital territory as released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) points to a certain light, even if dim, at the end of the tunnel.

Consistently for a number of years now, IGR figures in various states of the federation has continued to grow. State governments, confronted by the realities of the oil market, and under pressure to meet domestic obligations, are increasingly adopting measures to increase revenue base, with evidently positive result.

Few days ago, the NBS released states IGR figures of between January and September 2019. The figures showed that the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, Abuja generated N986.2 billion within the period, a 16 percent rise from the corresponding period of 2018.

The whole can be deceptive, however, as only two states, Lagos and Rivers accounted for over 40 percent of the figure. Lagos particularly generated 297.09 billion, representing 30 percent of the whole, while Rivers at N107.02 billion, accounted for 11 percent.

Other states that made it into the top 10 were Ogun (N52.8 billion), Delta (N49.5 billion), Kaduna (N28.14 billion), Akwa Ibom (N26.6 billion), Kano (N25.8 billion), Ondo (N24.5 billion) and Kwara (N24 billion).

On the other hand, Taraba, Gombe and Yobe states recorded the lowest IGRs at N4.72 billion, N4.24 billion and N3.34 billion.

But overall, almost all the states saw generated revenues grow significantly within the period, with Cross River, Ondo, Anambra, Zamfara, Ekiti, Osun, Kogi, Niger among other states witnessing most growth in percentage terms.

Zamfara which generated N4.45 billion IGR between January and September 2018, saw its revenue increase by 138 percent to N10.59 billion in the same period in 2019. Ekiti, Osun and Kebbi states ranked second, third and fourth respectively with the biggest growth in IGR. Ekiti recorded N8.03 billion from N3.97 billion in 2018, a 109 percent increase. Osun’s rose from N7.5 billion in 2018 to N14.15 billion in 2019, representing 88 percent increase.

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Top 10 revenue generating states (NBS)

Kebbi generated N5.93 billion in 2019, compared to N3.17 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018. Anambra grew from about N12 billion to over N17billion. This, the state’s commissioner for information, C Don Adinuba attributes to adoption of new methods and blockage of leakages.

“When the governor assumed office, IGR in Anambra was N400million monthly, but he brought it to N1.2billion and immediately that happened, he increased workers salaries across the board. He later increased it again, thus becoming the only governor in the last six years to review workers salaries upwards, not once, but twice.

“But there are indeed leakages in the system, which we are addressing very well. I’m proud to announce that in the last one month, we achieved an increase of N500million monthly. We are targeting N3billion.”

Growth has been consistent over the past few months and years. Between January and June 2019, according to the NBS, states generated N691.11 billion which was a 15.7 percent increase from the N596.91 billion they generated in the same period in 2018.

Within the period, Lagos had N205.16 billion, which was still 30 percent of the total. Rivers came second with N75.9 billion

Other states that made top ten had also included Abuja (N38.5 billion), Delta (N36.3 billion), Ogun (N29.5 billion), Kaduna (N22.4 billion), Akwa Ibom (N20.4 billion), Ondo (N19 billion), Kano (N18.5 billion) and Cross River (N16.7 billion). While Gombe, Yobe and Taraba states recorded the lowest at N2.08 billion, N2.2 billion and N3.27 billion.

Again, in 2018, the states grew IGR by N231 billion to N1.16trillion from 936. 47 billion recorded in 2017, with Lagos recording N 382 .18 billion, Rivers N 112. 78 billion and Ogun N84. 55 billion

Other states had followed thus: FCT, N 65. 51bn; Delta, N58. 43bn; Kano, N 44.1; Kaduna, N 29. 4 bn; Edo, N28. 45bn; Oyo, N24. 67bn; Enugu, N 22. 15bn; Akwa -Ibom, N 24. 21bn; Kwara N 23. 04 bn; Ondo, N 24. 78bn; Anambra, N 19. 3bn; Imo, N14. 88 bn; Abia , N14. 83bn; Bayelsa, N 13. 63bn; Plateau, N12. 72 bn; Benue, N 11. 21bn; Sokoto, N 18. 76bn; Kogi, N11. 33 bn; Niger, N10. 43bn; Jigawa, N 9 . 24bn; Osun , N 10 . 38 bn; Bauchi, N9 . 69bn; Nassarawa, N 7 . 56bn; Katsina, N 6 . 96bn; Adamawa , N6. 2bn; Borno, N6 .52 bn; Ekiti, N 6. 46bn; Zamfara, N 8 . 2 bn; Taraba N5 . 96 bn; Ebonyi, N6.14bn; Gombe, N 7. 34bn; Kebbi, N4 . 88bn; and Yobe , N 4 . 38bn .

The persistent growth in internally generated revenues offer a glimmer of hope amid the dwindling federal allocation which is a fallout of falling oil price in the global market. The revenue crisis took a toll on federal allocation in 2019, as the allocated fund to states for the period dropped by N49.56 billion. Specifically, State governors in Nigeria shared the sum of N2.53 trillion gross allocation in 2019.

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10 States that recorded highest IGR growth (NBS)

However, with equally growing obligations of the state governments, especially the recently implemented N30,000 minimum wage, analysts argue that while the growth is good news, it’s not sustainable and not good enough.

“The states’ IGR growing at 16.8 percent is a welcome development. That has been the aspiration of stakeholders,” notes Dr. Vincent Nwani, economic consultant and analyst.

“But the worry is how sustainable the growth is, in relation to the potential of the states and what needs to be done in those states.

“As we speak, virtually all the states, including Lagos, are not growing the revenue base. The challenge is revenue base. That’s why I asked, what is the sustainability of this growth? Are we going to see another 16.8 percent growth next year or we are going to see 3 percent?” Nwani queries.

“The point is that the base of the revenue is not growing. How can revenue grow when SMEs are closing down? When thousands of people that live on bikes are out of jobs and many people are getting unemployed? How can revenue grow when countries are closing their borders, directly or indirectly, on the country?

“Most of the countries in the sub-region are closing their borders stylishly against Nigeria and Nigerians. So, the challenge is how to sustain the growth. And I think it would also be nice for us to disaggregate this growth. From where did the revenue grow? The best form of growth we want to see is where the private sector is doing well. When new companies are emerging and old ones are expanding.

“A state IGR cannot be growing when unemployment is increasing, people who were employed are losing their jobs. It means that something is wrong because the only way states get revenue is through PAYE. So, we really want to know where the revenues are coming from. Is it collections from markets? Even the markets are getting burnt by fire. Over the last few months, 29 markets have been burnt across the country.

“So, it’s not time to celebrate yet. Even while the IGR is growing, the states commitments are growing faster. We now have the new minimum wage for example, which has put more pressure on the wage bill. In most of the states, the wage bill has risen by over 25 percent, while the IGR is still 15 percent.”

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