Bigger Entity Myopia

My Friday Tot for today is a fallout of a conversation with someone from the Niger-Delta. Ponder.

TL

Woman Oil Spill

There’s what I call the Bigger Entity Myopia that many Nigerians seem to suffer from. This form of myopia impairs the perception and sensitivity such that we ignore the leadership that is responsible for our immediate wellbeing and focus on the bigger one. So we ignore our councilors and focus on the state governors. We ignore the profligacy and lackluster performance of our governors and rile the federal government as if everything rises and falls there. I did an interesting table recently juxtaposing the monies that come to states from the center, their Internally Generated Revenue and their populations. The data threw up some interesting facts. The first, which should be quite obvious is that many states are pretty much not viable if the feeding bottle from the center is disconnected. But that isn’t the crux of this piece.

The second point is a sensitive one. Population does not really influence the share of the proverbial national cake that states get. When one thinks of this with the checks and balances put in the electoral laws in perspective, one begins to wonder why we are yet to have a census that reflects obvious things since both the politics and the economics do not necessarily ascribe greater share or powers to you when your population is greater. Bayelsa is number 4 on the allotment of funds from the center but is the least populous of the 36 states, only more populous than the FCT. True, population still has impact, but it is no longer the greatest. I use population figures in this article, but adjusted Lagos to reflect the position of both the state government and many internationally reputable agencies.

The third is the crux of this piece. I feel for the ordinary people of the Niger Delta who have suffered the devastation of oil exploration without development. I once spoke to a woman who told me that all she knows is fishing and then told me now that she had to marry away her daughter to some big man so they would not starve since the oil spills had killed all their fish. The sad part was that she then clenched her fist and said “those stupid people who came to our land to take our oil, destroy our land and use it to develop only Abuja and Lagos”.

I paused at this point and asked her “which stupid people?”

She responded as if I had asked the stupidest question possible and said “the government now. All of them in Abuja.”

So I asked her “your state governor, what has he done to develop this place?”

At that point, she was almost losing her temper “Is it his job? Is he the one taking our oil? It is the Abuja people!”

At that point, I backed down and decided to check these figures. The figures I could find were the 2011 figures. The startling thing was that about forty percent of the monies shared from the center to the states went to the oil producing states. Now when one takes the figure for the total revenue each state generates and divides it by the population of the state, we have what is theoretically available to spend on each citizen of the state. States like Bayelsa (N115,517), Akwa Ibom (N65,658), Rivers (N60,534), Delta (N57,314) topped the list. The FCT was 2nd with (N73,868). After Delta, the next state is Abia and it has only N29,557 to spend per citizen. Lagos has only N13,395 to spend and is 34th on this list. Kano is last on the list with only N10,318 to spend per person. The question therefore is this – what have the governors been doing with what is clearly an advantage, with all this money which they have been shared without the population pressures of places like Lagos and Kano? Let me say it this way – Bayelsa has ten times more money to spend per person than Lagos or Kano. But of course, the realities on ground do not reflect this. To that woman, I would say – your governor is just as much a culprit as the people in Abuja.

If more monies are allotted to the states, will it end up developing anything, or will we be writing articles years after asking these same questions. The people within the oil-producing states need to wake up and ask questions closer to home. Those whose states are feeding bottle states, totally dependent on the federal government allocations will begin to ask questions as to why their states are unable to generate IGR. The figures are below. I hope we will all look at them and begin to ask questions.

S/N States IGR (N’M) Direct from Center (N’M) Others (N’M) Total (N’M) Popn (Million) Available Spend Per Person (Naira) IGR/Total
1 Bayelsa 4,400 182,100 10,400 196,900 1.70 115,517 2%
2 FCT 10,300 60,800 32,700 103,800 1.41 73,868 10%
3 Akwa Ibom 12,100 233,400 10,700 256,200 3.90 65,658 5%
4 Rivers 62,900 239,100 12,700 314,700 5.20 60,534 20%
5 Delta 15,600 210,400 9,700 235,700 4.11 57,314 7%
6 Abia 31,200 46,000 6,900 84,100 2.85 29,557 37%
7 Gombe 7,500 39,200 17,400 64,100 2.37 27,103 12%
8 Nassarawa 5,300 37,900 6,000 49,200 1.87 26,319 11%
9 Kwara 11,700 40,500 8,200 60,400 2.37 25,535 19%
10 Edo 18,100 56,600 7,600 82,300 3.23 25,453 22%
11 Taraba 2,500 43,700 9,300 55,500 2.29 24,185 5%
12 Ondo 7,200 68,500 7,500 83,200 3.46 24,040 9%
13 Yobe 2,300 43,400 6,500 52,200 2.32 22,487 4%
14 Cross River 7,600 48,000 6,900 62,500 2.88 21,679 12%
15 Ebonyi 2,100 36,600 6,500 45,200 2.18 20,763 5%
16 Ogun 22,200 43,300 11,900 77,400 3.75 20,634 29%
17 Kogi 16,500 44,300 7,400 68,200 3.31 20,579 24%
18 Ekiti 4,000 37,000 7,200 48,200 2.40 20,097 8%
19 Plateau 4,900 43,400 14,800 63,100 3.21 19,679 8%
20 Adamawa 6,600 44,200 10,900 61,700 3.18 19,409 11%
21 Zamfara 10,600 43,600 6,900 61,100 3.28 18,634 17%
22 Osun 11,900 41,000 7,200 60,100 3.42 17,589 20%
23 Anambra 4,800 44,600 23,000 72,400 4.18 17,330 7%
24 Imo 6,100 53,600 7,900 67,600 3.93 17,212 9%
25 Kebbi 3,500 44,500 7,100 55,100 3.26 16,920 6%
26 Sokoto 3,100 46,100 12,500 61,700 3.70 16,664 5%
27 Enugu 4,100 41,800 7,200 53,100 3.27 16,249 8%
28 Niger 3,200 51,800 7,600 62,600 3.95 15,829 5%
29 Benue 8,300 47,700 11,300 67,300 4.25 15,822 12%
30 Jigawa 2,300 48,900 15,300 66,500 4.36 15,249 3%
31 Borno 2,100 52,800 7,800 62,700 4.17 15,032 3%
32 Oyo 13,400 51,700 13,600 78,700 5.58 14,102 17%
33 Bauchi 4,500 51,800 8,100 64,400 4.65 13,840 7%
34 Lagos 147,100 63,100 57,700 267,900 20.00 13,395 55%
35 Kaduna 11,700 55,800 9,500 77,000 6.11 12,595 15%
36 Katsina 3,200 53,100 10,100 66,400 5.80 11,445 5%
37 Kano 14,000 69,900 13,100 97,000 9.40 10,318 14%
Escrow (Disputed Fund) 0 4,000 0 4,000 N/A 0%
Total 508,900 2,464,200 437,100 3,410,100 151.31 22,538 15%

*Sources of Data – CBN Website, National Population Commission (except for Lagos State Population Figures).

ff on twitter @tundeleye

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14 thoughts on “Bigger Entity Myopia

  1. Dis is serious!I lack words….our govrns r busy enriching dia immediate family .my joy is dat our God is a God of justice

  2. i totally agree with you. I wonder why the people of the Niger delta aint asking their governors what is been done with the allocation to the states. The asari dokubos that get billions from the government and claim they are fighting for the people of the nigerdelta, how much of the money gets to the communities. When questions are directed to the right channel, am sure things will begin to change in this country.

  3. Recently went for a valuation job in Warri and the attitude of persons in Niger Delta region show nothing but lack of information and unwillingness to believe that their kinsmen are mostly responsible for the deplorable state of existence. Infact, may I say that they are ready to kill persons who have come to value their “compensations” for proposed infrastructural development. The very same development they are clamoring for. Till the ANGRY JOBLESS youth get this message and start demanding for accountability from their State and LGA’s, I fear the situation is not going to get any better. Again, nice one with the figures.

  4. An interesting,eye opening and thought provoking piece.I must point that the level of apathy on our part as to how our government functions and operate is also a major factor in this myopia…u can imagine the number of comments so far,probably because this isn’t bisi risi or one of Tls other usual piece. We the youths of this nations must wake up and demand proper stewardship and accountability of our leaders esp our immediate leaders.

  5. Good job Tunde.. please are these figures annual figures or monthly figures? IGR of 147.1B per month for Lagos seems outrageous to me (i may be wrong) but that figure is small/incorrect if its annual… same applies to Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Rivers etc… pls clarify these positions…well done… i am sure i can repost this for more people to read.. (don’t worry, i will acknowledge u… unlike the Imo Youths “Thieves’). disappointed by the number of people who have read/commented on this piece… i believe this is “more important” and in a sense “more relevant” to us than the beautiful fictional posts we read on this blog every week… but like our rulers, it’s also like a majority of the citizens also dont just give a damn… and its sad.

  6. Wow! i had to comment after just reading this. We really need to start asking our leaders the right questions and hold them accountable. This is really sad…

  7. Just saw this write up and judging by the number of comments we have so far, I think we all know the reason why the leaders get away with such atrocities. Majority of Nigerians are ignorant and are unwilling to get informed. We need youths hungry for clarity and are willing to ask questions. We’ve been having bogus “single digit” inflation reports since june where they claimed inflation was 9% & November inflation was 7.9%, a far cry from the usual 18% or more it used to be. If inflation has reduced soo much, how come prices of goods are still the same in the market? Infact, some are even increasing in prices. So, where did that reduced inflation happen? Definitely not in Nigeria. We need to start asking all these questions before change can happen.

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