STATE OF THE NATION!!! The Unstoppable Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, Cries Out As President Muhammadu Buhari Shares N8.9 Trillion

By Joshua Amaugo July 2, 2018 11:48

STATE OF THE NATION!!! The Unstoppable Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, Cries Out As President Muhammadu Buhari Shares N8.9 Trillion

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has raised an alarm over the management of the nation’s economy, under President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressive Congress, APC, as he said that corruption will eat up more than 30 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, if not adequately dealt with.

Obasanjo, who made this known over the weekend, in a Keynote address at the sixth Annual Christopher Kolade Lecture, on Business Integrity, in Lagos, said: “The key to Nigeria’s economic transformation is integrity. We must start placing a high premium on integrity. When countries and organisations are managed with integrity, it results in long-term benefits.

“The effect of corruption will cost up to 30 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product by 2030, if not dealt with. As Africans, we need to look inwards and anchor on integrity, value reorientation, respectfulness, obedience, and hard work. There is a lack of focus; there is political impunity, and it is a consequence of lack of transparency and integrity.

“Lack of integrity in our national life is causing us a lot of potentials, and it is the grandfather of corruption. It is responsible for the high cost of governance. Contract splitting is now the order of the day. Companies doctor their annual reports to suit business purposes.

“Public office holders engage in procurement distortions,  and these have led to the huge institutional inefficiency, infrastructural and social decay we are experiencing today.”

Obasanjo wrapped up his remarks by quoting Proverbs 29:2, which says: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked rule, the people mourn.”

Elsewhere, Post-Nigeria gathered that Obasanjo statement is coming at a time when news reports have it that President Buhari has shared a total of N8.9 trillion, in 16 months, covering January 2017 to April this year, to the three tiers of government, without any visible infrastructure/improvement in the economy.

Recall, that under statutory allocation, the Federal Government gets 52.68 percent of the revenue shared; States, 26.72 percent; and Local Governments, 20.60 percent.

The framework also provides that VAT revenue is shared thus: Federal Government, 15 percent; States, 50 percent; and LGs, 35 percent.

Similarly, an extra allocation is given to the nine oil producing States, based on the 13 percent derivation principle.
A breakdown of the N8.9 trillion allocation showed that the three tiers of government shared N430.16 billion in January, 2017. Out of this amount, the Federal Government, after deducting the cost of collection to the revenue generating Agencies, received N168 billion; States, N114.28 billion; and Local Government, N85.4 billion.

In February 2017, the Federation generated N514 billion, out of which the Federal Government’s share was N200.6 billion; States, N128.4 billion; and Local Governments, N96.52 billion.

However, in March, revenue generation dipped to N466.9 billion, and from it, the Federal Government got N180.5 billion; State Governments, N116.5 billion; and Local Governments, N87.5 billion.

The allocation declined further by N52.07 billion to N415.73 billion, in April, with the Federal Government receiving N163.89 billion; States, N117.59 billion; while the Local Government Councils, got N87.77 billion.

In the month of May last year, the FAAC distributed the sum of N462.4 billion among the three tiers of government as statutory allocation, with the Federal Government receiving N147.7 billion; States, N74.9 billion; and Local Government Councils, N57.8 billion.

For June 2017, the sum of N652.2 billion was shared, with the Federal Government receiving N286.6 billion; States, N178.6 billion; and Local Government Councils, N134.9 billion

The month of July last year, witnessed a plunge in revenue, as the sum of N467.85 billion was shared; the Federal Government received N193 billion; States, N130.69 billion; and Local Government Councils, N98 billion.

For August, the Committee distributed the sum of N637.7 billion, with the Federal Government, States, and Local Governments receiving N260.6 billion, N132.18 billion, and N101.9 billion, respectively.

In September, a total sum of N558 billion was shared, with the Federal Government receiving N210 billion; States, N140.45 billion; and Local Governments, N107.4 billion.

For the month of October, the sum of N532.7 billion was shared, while November had a total amount of N609 billion allocated to the three tiers of government.

In the month of December, the distributed revenue went up to N655.17 billion, before dropping to N635.5 billion in January 2018.

However, the distributed revenue to the three tiers of government rose again in February 2018, from the January figure to N647.390 billion, before dropping to N626.82 billion in March, this year, due to revenue underpayment by the NNPC.

However, despite the revenue underpayment, the revenue allocated to the three tiers of government rose significantly in the month of April, as the Committee distributed N701 billion.

Unfortunately, despite this huge expenditure monthly, Nigeria has continued to retrogress in terms of infrastructural development, Per Capita Income, as poverty is on the rise on a daily basis.

Recall, that all the States, in different proportions, have natural resources that can be tapped and utilized to develop the economy. As was the practice in the first republic, when the regions concentrated on their areas of strengths.

Nearly 60 years after independence, the nation still depends on a single product to fund its budget.

This is in spite of the threat of oil losing its primacy in the international market, because of the development of alternative sources of energy. As it is, there is no economic blueprint to deal with that situation when the time comes.

Uranium, for example, is found in Cross River, Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Bauchi, and Kano States, while Bitumen is found in abundance in Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, and Edo States.

All the other States have rich mineral deposits, that could do for them what oil has done for the nation. In spite of the many promises made by the current government in the pre-election campaigns, no concrete effort has been made to channel the minds of the States to economic self-sufficiency.

The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Charles Bowman, had in one of his statement recently, said that Nigeria’s growth must increase from the current snail-pace of 2 percent, to at least 6 or 7 percent.

According to him, the rapidly rising population and the current sluggish economic growth rates, portend declining per capita for the foreseeable future as forecast by global institutions, while Nigeria needs to about three to four million jobs, each year.

Bowman said: “To ensure the opportunity is harnessed, the economic engine needs to shift up a gear or two”, and advised that Nigeria should set priorities in creating investable infrastructure assets, improve access to capital, promote financial inclusion, and develop an enabling and compliance based business environment.”

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