Friday, January 02, 2009

On State budgets

I know that our brothers in the North silently complain that our leaders in the South are not using our revenue allocations prudently. I agree, to a large extent. I am therefore appealing to our governors and local government chairmen in the South, especially the oil-rich States, to be prudent in their spending.

They should also consider how to increase their internally generated revenue, IGR, instead of depending on the Federation Allocation.
Talking about budget differentials, let us take Sokoto State’s 2009 budget of N55 billion. Whereas Sokoto’s total capital vote stood at N29 billion, a project, the Tropicana Centre in Akwa Ibom State will consume N33billion.

Niger State has a total budget of N64 billion for 2009; it then means that the same Akwa Ibom lone project is about 52% of the Niger State total budget. Then talk of Akwa Ibom’s neighbour, Abia, an oil State that has a total budget of N60.9 billion. The Uyo Tropicana Centre is about 55% of Abia’s total 2009 annual budget. Yobe State budgeted N46 billion; the Tropicana Centre costs 72% of this.

But the answer might also be in the costing method of various projects in the some states and how the executive exert control over the legislature. For those with much money in their possession, they could be tempted to spend recklessly for pecuniary reasons. Well, this matter should be for the anti-corruption agencies. Let the Immunity Clause be amended. It will help