17 November 2014, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, has criticised states in the Niger Delta Region in the utilisation of revenue received from the Federation Account as Mineral Revenue, MR, from 2007-2011.
The NEITI Executive Secretary, Zainab Ahmed, panned states’ performance at a capacity-building workshop for civil society organisations, media and legislators on the organisation’s Fiscal Allocation and Statutory Disbursement Audit, FASD, Report for 2007-2011, in Akure, Ondo State.
The NEITI Secretary observed that the general trend among states was that the more money some states had, the more they spent on recurrent expenditure under the general administration.
She therefore called on stakeholders, civil society organisations, legislators and the media to impress it on government to ensure that money is used for the purpose it was meant.
Ahmed, who was represented by Mrs. Obiageli Onuorah, said only Ondo State did fairly well in the files of projects made available for perusal when compared with other eight states in the oil producing category.
However, the secretary said the state did not make available files of some of the projects it claimed to have executed but added that the state did well in capital investment particularly in 2010 but came down in 2011.
She said NEITI had noted that states did well in the deployment of revenue for execution of capital projects when election is approaching but dropped substantially after election.
Ahmed said the FASD report showed that Ondo State made capital expenditure a priority in 2010 by allocating the highest amount of N55.8 billion or 73 per cent while recurrent had N42.79 billion during the period under review.
She said the analysis also revealed that less attention was given to capital related expenditure in 2011 with N37.1 billion or 38 per cent used for capital projects, while N54.75billion or 56 per cent was expended on recurrent expenditure.
The workshop organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), was also attended by top officials of the state Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, who answered questions on the application of the state’s revenue from oil and gas in the period covered by the report.
Also speaking at the event, the Ondo State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Akin Adaramola, who was represented by the Director of Budget in the ministry, Mr. Olajurin Victor, said it has been the practice of the state to structure its budget with 60 per cent for capital expenditure and 40 per cent for recurrent expenditure.
Olajurin said despite the state was rated above others in the report, its content may not be relevant compared with what was on ground now.
He said in view of the dwindling revenue from the federal allocation and increased responsibilities of the state, the state is looking inward to increase its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) but devoid of creating burden on the people of the state.