BY OUR CORRESPONDENTS
Nigerians have complained about decaying infrastructure in most states in the country despite their governors collecting N2.3trillion from Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) in 2020.
A report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) collected a total of N2.3trillion from FAAC allocation last year.
The report shows the followings as what the states received in 2020: Abia State (N48.4bn); Adamawa (N47.9bn);Akwa Ibom(N146bn); Anambra State(N50.9bn); Bauchi State(N49.1bn);Bayelsa (N116.4bn);Benue State(N47.2bn);Borno State(N60bn;Cross River(N32.9bn; Delta State(N186.8bn; Ebonyi State (N43.9bn); Edo State N58.4bn); Ekiti State (N39.5bn); Enugu State(N49.8bn); Gombe State(N39.9bn); Imo State(N55.7bn); Jigawa State(N56.3bn); Kaduna State(N63.1bn); Kano State(N81.3bn); Katsina State(N61.4bn); Kebbi State(N51.1bn); Kogi State(N49.9bn); Kwara State N42.09bn); Lagos State(N115.9BN); Nasarawa State (N43.1bn); Niger State (N54.5bn); Ogun State (N37.6bn); Ondo State (N46.7bn); Osun State(N30.6bn); Oyo State(N53.7bn); Plateau State (N35.6bn); Rivers State (N141.1bn); Sokoto State N54.1bn); Taraba State (N43.8bn); Yobe State N49.4bn); Zamfara State (N41.5bn) and FCT (N67.1bn).
The report also showed that most of the states recorded low internally generated (IGR) revenue as well as huge debt profile.
Findings by LEADERSHIP revealed that most of the states cannot give a proper account of using the fund judiciously as there are still a lot of infrastructural decay and poor funding of projects in the states.
For instance, in Lagos State, there are complaints by residents that the state government has only been completing abandoned projects and that the current administration is yet to initiate massive infrastructural development projects that could match the size of the funds it is collecting from the federal pulse.
Also, in Benue State, residents complained that the state is filled with bad roads. A resident who pleaded anonymity said the road from Makurdi to Otukpo has become a death trap. He said most of the government hospitals in the state lack ambulances while the primary healthcare facilities in the state are in a decrepit situation. The state is also said to be owing a backlog of salaries to workers.
The situation in Imo State is not different. Residents said most of the roads in the state are substandard and death traps.
In Warri, Delta State, the state of the roads is soo bad that the indigenes of the state want a complete overhaul of the system of infrastructural development in the state.Although the state government is said to be developing an ultra-modern hospital in Asaba, the state capital, and Teachers’ Institute in the state, they rated the performance of the government low in infrastructural development.
However, Kaduna State was described as doing well in road construction in Kaduna, the state capital. However, many said the neglect of Kaduna South in infrastructural development was to be a sore point for the state.
In Adamawa State, residents said the state still lacks amenities like good schools and hospitals among others. They urged the state government to do more in infrastructural development.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP yesterday, deputy director, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, said the fact that people are complaining means funds collected by the state governments have not been put to good use.
Also, another NGO, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda urged the state governments to focus on projects that add value to the people and reduce wasteful expenses.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP yesterday, an economist, Mr. Tope Fasua, said, “it’s a systemic challenge that needs to be corrected both at the federal and state levels.”
He said only two states were able to generate as much as it earns from FAAC on a monthly basis, a development, he said, has negative implications on the overall economy.
“Only Lagos and one other state are able to generate more than what they earn monthly from federal allocations, which is bad to some extent. But let’s not castigate the states alone. The federal government too is doing badly in terms of generating income internally. So, it behoves on the two tiers of government to rise up and deepen their revenue generation drive.”
He urged governments at the federal and states to cut down on wasteful expenses, adding that, if this is done, it will create some surplus that could be deployed into other areas of social development.
While urging states to deepen the enforcement of stamp duty and property tax, among others, to raise revenue internally instead of relying on external funds to run the economy, he called on states to look inward to see what can be done to generate revenue and rely less on federal allocation to perform its civic duties and responsibilities.
Also, Dr. Bongo Adi of the Lagos Business School (LBS) attributed the development to the current structure of government that arrogates too much power to the federal government , hence, causing the states to solely rely on the federal government for revenue.
“The system we are practising is similar to the unilateral system of government, whereby the states were structured to rely on the federal government to function. With the federal government now in full control of the natural resources in the land of the states, then, the states have no option but to rely on a share from what was discovered on their lands,” he said.
He called for restructuring whereby states control whatever is discovered on its lands and pay taxes to the federal government in this regard, adding that this is the only option that will make states functional and responsible to generate huge revenues internally.