Deji Adeyanju: How President Buhari bankrupted 34 Nigerian states in 1 year

In about 1 year, Nigeria that used to be the largest economy in Africa and number one investment destination in Africa is now number 13.

Inflation rate that was below 9% when GEJ handed over on May 29th, 2015 is now at 15.6% under Buhari in 1 year (double digit inflation rate).

Our GDP was at 6.95 under GEJ, now it is -0.36% -the worst in Nigeria’s history. This is a recession GDP. President Buhari has ruined the economy completely in just 1year.

In 2013/14, Nigeria was the 3rd fastest growing economy in the world, now we are 29th in the world. With the country’s current negative GDP of -0.36, Nigeria might be outside Top 50 in the world. It is important to note that there are only 4 countries with negative GDP in Africa in the last quarter and Nigeria is now one of them.

The analogy that president Buhari met an empty treasury when he took over is false because GEJ handed over $30billion in Foreign Reserves, $5billion from accrued Liquefied Natural gas Dividends, $3billion from Excess Crude Account and around $2.4billion from Sovereign Wealth Fund.

Buhari was handed over a budget of about N4.5trillion passed by GEJ few weeks before handover. Around N5.3trillion was received as income in 2015, how was this money squandered?

With landing rate of Crude Oil to Nigeria now at N89 per litre with the drop in price of crude oil, the Federal Government still increased fuel price to N145 per litre and there is no evidence of increased income generation. The government is making a N56 profit. So why is Nigeria broke? Why can’t states get money from federation account? Why cant states pay salaries?

Those who are blaming governors for inability to pay salaries just under 1year of Buhari’s government are either naive or uneducated.

The Federal Government ‘Abuja’ is a Quasi Colonialist that controls everything & starves the states. When people say governors go to Abuja to beg for funds, I laugh.

What does Abuja generate? Absolutely NOTHING.

By Law ‘Abuja’ will not allow the states to manage their resources yet some will blame the states for inability to generate revenue. Abuja generates NOTHING.

All the funds come from the states. So this whole argument that the states are beggars is a big lie.

Only reason why Lagos State & Rivers remain viable is because Lagos was former Federal Capital & naturally continues to enjoys the benefits. The structures of revenue generation in Lagos were created by the Nigerian State and not Lagos state. Rivers is a similar case.

The reason why many of us criticized governor Aregbesola for bankrupting Osun State then was because things were very fine under GEJ. States were not been shortchanged like we presently see under Buhari. The case of Osun was pure mismanangement. Osun had no business becoming bankrupt but financial mismanagement by Ogbeni and Bourdillon was responsible for the problem.

But now under Buhari, in 1year, he has ruined the economy with bad economic policies, policy reversals and all states are in trouble. The states are not beggars as many will want you to believe. They generate the resources of the nation but the Federal Government is in charge of such resources. The states have no control whatsoever. A state cannot explore mineral deposits or construct a deep-sea port, the Law forbids them.

Those who continue to argue that the States should generate more money must realize that States cannot tax their citizens to death. States also cannot tax businesses to death because if they do, such business will close up & relocate to other Tax friendly states.

Argument by some that only 6 states generate the bulk of resources for sharing among:

Legislature &
36 states is also false.

Every state in Nigeria generates something. The difference is that some generate more than others. Let it be on record that ABUJA does not generate anything. It is the States that generate the revenue.

There’s nothing wrong if ABUJA increases capacity of a State like Rivers State to generate more revenue. Those who blame governors for inability to pay salaries should know that the Quasi Colonialist “The Federal Government” is to blame. The issue about revenue generation should concern the Federal Government more than even State Governments. That is why diversification of the economy should not just be a talk show but a policy of the Federal Government. Should the FG not be interested in improving capacity to generate more from states since they have almost 100% rights on all resources?

If FG generates N50bn from Rivers monthly, should FG not be interested in investing in capacity in Rivers State so it can generate N100bn monthly instead?

Most states cannot pay salaries because their monthly Wage Bill exceeds income. They are bankrupt. Since president Buhari took over as president, allocations to states have continue to reduce even with increase in fuel price, insinuations of recovery of stolen funds and increase in taxes.

The Federal Government must stop its mentality of just sharing all the MONEY. They should invest more in capacity of States to generate more. If Rivers State generates more money for FG and the nation, there will be more to share among the 36 states. The time to think is now.

The more we generate, the more we have to share among the:

36 states & FCT
Aso Rock
Legislature, etc.

The equation for sharing formular is also faulty as the bulk of responsibilities are at the state and Local Government level but the Federal Government gets almost 50% of total revenue generated. That is injustice to the Nigerian state.


Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

Adeyanju Deji is the director of New Media for the Peoples Democratic Party.

Comments (5)


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