Nigeria: Controversy Over Revenue Allocation

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.

8 thoughts on “Nigeria: Controversy Over Revenue Allocation

  1. As a Nigerian, I find the premise of the article in the Daily Trust to be extremely misleading and mischievous. Some of the most extensive and most expensive projects in Nigeria (e.g. the Railway modernization project, dualisation of access roads to Abuja etc) are centered in Northern Nigeria.

    There was no complaint about lack of Federal projects in the South West or South East, they were only interested in the North. The truth is that the North has only itself to blame for the lack of physical and human resource development. Governors in Lagos (South West) and Enugu (South East) have found innovative ways of funding capital intensive infrastructure projects (e.g. Lagos light rail and Enugu mono rail). If Northern political leaders lack imagination, should not blame the rest of Nigeria.

    • There might be contracts in the north, but how many and how much are they worth? If a region isn’t receiving government investment relative to the rest of the country there will be trouble.

      • I can assure you as a Nigerian, that the North is receiving as much (if not more government investment) relative to the rest of the country (minus the Niger Delta).

        (The Niger Delta has the most glaring infrastructure deficit and Government is right to focus there).

        This deliberately false article will make you believe that ALL Federal allocation decisions are made between March and August.

        (NB: Be very careful before delving into Nigerian politics – it’s a minefield).

  2. You talk of expensive projects in the North and you mentioned railway and access roads to Abuja, true, but they started from the South like the railway rehabilitation from Lagost thru Ibadan to Kano. Nobody will currently talk about any lack of infrastructure in the south-west cos that region is the most developed part of Nigeria infrastructure-wise. It is absolutely false to state the the North is ‘receiving as much (if not more government investment) relative to the rest of the country (minus the Niger Delta)’, even the Americans we revere disagree and the fact that you you minused the niger delta shows you agree with the article.

    • Have you gone to the South East or the Middle Belt? Where (apart from Lagos) in the South West is there significant government (not private sector driven) infrastructural investment?

      Have you crossed the River Niger? The bridge over that river was built in the sixties, it hasn’t been worked on since then. What about Kaduna? Is there any town anywhere in the South with as much investment from the Federal Government?

      Is Abuja in the North?

      I don’t revere the Americans and the experience in Iraq and Afghanistan should teach us that Americans know a lot less about the World than we assume they do. The don’t know much about Nigeria.

      • Don’t worry, I have been everywhere in Nigeria, in fact I have never left Nigeria, I lived in the hell called Nigeria all my life. I am glad that u agree that there is ‘private sector’ driven development in the southwest and southeast. You must not exclude anywhere including Lagos cos that is what we are talking about. Let me remind u that Lagos was not and is not a private sector driven commercial capital, it was a federal capital territory and the federal might (agric produce from the north then later oil from the southsouth) was used to develop it, Tell me where such federal investment is so concentrated; right now we hear that all electricity generated must be fed to Lagos 24/7 (Prof Bath Nnja, Power Minister). So the chicken has come home to roost.

        From the development in Lagos like a seed, the whole of the southewest took off in the lead for commercial/industrial development. What you call private sector-driven development is actually money diverted from the federal government into private hands. Kaduna that u mentioned was a northern regional headquarter for the entire north and I will want u to name any major federal government project that has changed Kaduna in the last 20yrs.

        U asked of the middle belt? Well like u said they have Abuja. If u split the north into a middle belt, then nothing of developmental value can be found in the north since Kaduna is in the middle belt! So where stands the north, which has ruled for all these years and developed other regions, only to meet denial when it comes to its turn? Could this be another Jonathan-type u-turn on rotational agreements? Could southerners in government be trusted to see Nigeria as one at all?

      • So Kaduna is now part of the Middle Belt? When did that happen?

        The point is that the North (or whatever is left of it, since the “Middle Belt seems to be encroaching on it”) cannot make a justifiable claim on more resources from the Niger Delta. Kano State budgeted N210 billion (almost three times the budget of Imo State). Yet Imo State has more students in school than 16 Northern states. How did that happen?

      • No no, anything above the Niger river was once called North and treated with the same brush; separatists carved out the Middle Belt and so on. Check out ur map and tell me where Kaduna is located. What do you think the Kaduna riots are all about? U think Kano State cannot make any justifiable claim on a resource it contributed in developing simply because Imo State has more students than ## Northern States? Have u ever been to Kano at all? Kano State alone has a population of 16million people, which is more than all the students in all the southeastern states and that includes a huge % of Igbo population living and breeding there. Now how did that happen?

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