Poor performance delivery in south-south despite N9.53trn received in 19 years — NEITI

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*Director general of BRACED, Mr. Joe Keshi, Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Rivers State governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike,Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, and Bayelsa State governor, Mr. Douye Diri

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) disclosed yesterday that that the six states of the south-south geopolitical region received N9.53 trillion from the federation account between 2000 and 2018.

NEITI, in a book, titled, ‘Perception of the Impact of 13 per cent Oil Derivation Allocation,’ launched in Abuja, lamented that these huge allocations, and various other interventions in the Niger Delta had failed to reverse the conditions of poverty and underdevelopment suffered by the region.

The south-south states are Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross Rivers and Akwa Ibom.

In a section of the book, titled: ‘Oil Revenue Management and Benefits Capture in Nigeria’s Niger Delta,’ authored by staff of NEITI — Dauda Garuba, Dieter Bassi and Adaure Njoku, the agency stated the amount allocated to the six south-south states was three times the allocation to the states in the south-east region.

NEITI said: “A breakdown of the figures reveals that N9.53 trillion was allocated to the six states of the south-south geopolitical region between 2000 and 2018. This is almost double of the allocation (N4.73 trillion) to the second highest geopolitical zone, northwest, and over three times the allocation to southeast geopolitical region.

“The 13 per cent oil derivation allocation to the south-south states is the major reason for the observed huge revenue disparity. Even though Abia and Imo States in the south-east region and Ondo State in the southwest region also draw from the 13 per cent derivation funds, their shares are way insignificant – both in terms of their contribution to quantum of oil produced and the number of states that produce oil in their regions – to warrant any significant difference in the observed figures posted by these regions, let alone the figures of other non-oil producing regions.”

NEITI explained that this reality, added to the deepening social and environmental consequences of extraction, had turned the Niger Delta into an epicentre of unmatched contradictions.

On the one hand, NEITI said the region is home to the highest sub-national revenue earners from the federation accounts, while on the other, it shows very limited impacts in terms of the real value realised from the huge revenue allocation and disbursement to its component states.  

It added that the top four sub-national oil producers and revenue earners, namely, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states, received N1.60 trillion, N1.20 trillion, N1.38 trillion and N1.54 trillion, respectively from 2001 to 2018.

It observed that despite earning so much, the four states are also among the highest indebted states in the country.

 “As at September 2019, the Debt Management Office, DMO, puts Akwa Ibom’s debt profile at N237.4 billion; Bayelsa at N127.2 billion; Delta at N230.57 billion; and Rivers at N266.9 billion.

“Worse still is that despite being the epicentre of several development policy initiatives tailored to respond to the ecological needs and the negative consequences of oil extraction, the development outcomes from those initiatives have met only minimal expectations.

“Despite federal government-led initiatives, such as the Niger Delta Development Board (NDDB), the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority (NDBDA), the Presidential Committee on 1.5 per cent derivation fund, the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADC), the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Ministry of Niger Delta) to sub-national governments’ use of the 13 per cent oil revenue derivation funds, the interventions in the Niger Delta are yet to reverse or significantly improve the conditions of poverty and underdevelopment of citizens of the region.

“Put differently, the higher revenue disbursement to Niger Delta states from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) on account of 13 per cent oil derivation have raised citizens’ expectations without a corresponding delivery of performance,” it stated.

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