Earlier this week, an article in the Daily Trust occasioned some angry commentary in Northern Nigeria, as the piece raised critical issues about regional favoritism. The article details how federal project spending is allocated to the countries six geopolitical zones:
The Niger Delta region is home to at least 86 per cent of projects approved by the Federal Executive Council between March and August, amounting to over N760 billion out of N883 billion contracts awarded during the period, according to documents published by the Bureau for Public Procurement.
But the entire North, minus the FCT, has projects worth only N16.4 billion, as follows: Northwest N15 billion and Northeast N1.4 billion. There is no project specifically located in any of the six states of the North Central.
Four projects worth N12 billion were approved to be sited in the Southwest.
The issue is more than just financial; it bears on people’s perceptions of the federal government, and it bears on the prospects for development and security in different crisis areas. Many people recognize that the Niger Delta is in desperate need of assistance, but many people will also feel that the numbers have skewed too far in favor of one region. Assuming the figures are correct, this report could contribute to major resentment of the administration throughout much of the country.