What Nigeria’s IGR Data Is Saying

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Last Friday, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, released the 2015 internally generated revenue, IGR, figures. The data speaks volume about Nigeria’s economic state and the health states within the system.

In total, Nigerian states generated NGN 682 billion in 2015 compared to NGN  707 billion in 2014 representing -3% drop in revenue. Lagos State still maintains a strong lead in profitability. The state made about NGN 268 billion compared to NGN 276 billion in 2014 representing just about -2.96 drop in total revenue. For the fact that Lagos has over 60% of the major companies in country, one would  have expected the state to be badly hit by their depleting fortunes. It therefore means that the state is hedging risks confronting its revenue futures.

The report had some good news in the mix. Some states had impressive growth in their IGR. Topping the list is: Ogun State NGN 34 billion and a percentage growth of 49.42%. The state of Anambra came second with 29.32% growth in revenue. In spite of being ravaged by deadly terror attacks, Borno State recorded about NGN 3.5 billion which is 21.8% growth in 2015 revenue. Edo State got 10.95% growth, Bauchi State recorded 10.02%, Sokoto 9.75, Taraba State 8.57%, Abia State 7.33%, Nasarawa State 4.59%, Niger State 3.98%, Kogi State 3.05%.

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While the states above gave us reasons to be happy about, 24 states (excluding Lagos), are financially in bad shape. While the narrative is hinged on questioning the economic viability/financial independence of these states, the real problem is rather fundamental. All these states with negative IGR growth have mineral resources and avenues to boost their income. With their potentials, no state should be in negative territory.

The major inference the report points to is that Nigeria’s dependent on oil has done damage to the economy more than expected. Revenue of all oil producing states dipped in 2015. To know that last year was the beginning of the current crude oil woes, oil producing states in Nigeria will need emergency bailout in the short and medium term.