By Benjamin Orisemeke
The sum of N116.71 billion was disbursed to Akwa Ibom state by the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) from January to October 2017, making the state highest beneficiary of federally-collected revenue distributions for the period under review.
Data obtained from Civil Society Organisation, budgiT and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) by BRTnews.ng indicated that FAAC disbursements to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory was N5.077 trillion in the first ten months of the year.
A breakdown showed that Rivers state, an oil producing state got the second highest allocation from FAAC N97.56 billion followed by another oil producing state, Delta with N85 billion and Bayelsa with N84.77 billion. The two major commercial cities of Lagos and Kano got N71.3 billion and N53.51 billion respectively from the Committee in the period under review.
Also, Kaduna, Borno and Katsina got N41.35 billion, N39.79 billion and N38.15 billion in the first ten months of the year. On the other hand, FAAC disbursement to Ondo, Oyo, Jigawa, Niger, Sokoto and Anambra was N37.54 billion, N36.37 billion, N36.92 billion, N34.61 billion, N33.93 billion and N33.58 billion respectively.
According to Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), in its quarterly review of FAAC disbursement for third quarter, 36 states received N586.58billion in the third quarter of 2017.
According to available figures, Kogi, Benue, Yobe, Kebbi, Bauchi and Abia got N32.28 billion, N32.19 billion, N32.09 billion, N32.5 billion, N31.7 billion and N31.16 billion in the period under review.
Furthermore, N30.82 billion, N30.71 billion, N30.36 billion, N29.12 billion, N28.58 billion, N28.27 billion and N27.32 billion went to Imo, Adamawa, Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Edo and Taraba.
In addition, Kwara, Gombe, Plateau, Zamfara, Ogun, Ekiti, Cross Rivers,and Osun from the Committee the sum of N26.88 billion, N25.24 billion, N23.79 billion, N23.26 billion, N21.04 billion, N18.86 billion and N7.93 billion respectively from FAAC.
Preliminary assessments of the impact of the revenue shared to the sub-national governments on physical developments by BRTnews.ng team in some of the states showed that, except for Lagos, Ogun, Delta, Kano, Kwara and Nasarawa states, there was minimal improvement in roads, water and electricity infrastructure.
For instance, an indigene of Ondo State interviewed by our correspondent, Mr. Ralph Awolu, categorically confirmed that “there is nothing to show for this huge sum of money collected by the state government during the year as we cannot see any new project flagged off or any old one that is completed.”
Similarly, a trader along Okene-Lokoja Road in Okene, who simply identified himself as Ibrahim, lamented that the state of infrastructure in the state remained deplorable still, saying that “we just hear about the money they share every month in Abuja without benefitting from it. See, go round the state, you will see that no road is being tarred by the state government and there is no water project going on”
Investigations by BRTnews.ng in at least 10 states visited and Abuja showed that recurrent expenditures, particularly on payroll, continued to make it difficult for many states to embark on capital projects.
Another factor that seemed to be impeding the efforts of most states to upgrade their infrastructure such as roads, hospital and potable water projects, is the level of corruption in the public service which, despite efforts by the President Buhari’s administration to curb, remains endemic at all tiers of government in the country.