MANY INSOLVENT STATES IN NIGERIA (INCLUDING IMO STATE)-WHICH WAYS OUT?

According to NBS reports, Labour Union Intelligence reports and submissions made Nurudeen Bala on October 2017, only 4 states in Nigeria can literally be said to be solvent. These 4 states can survive no matter the fortunes of the crude oil prices in the international market.

Some other 12 states in the lowest rung of the solvency rating (Imo state included), are technically bankrupt and if they are to be companies, would have since 2016 been under receivership.

Creatively, prudentially, honestly and progressively managed with robust fiscal discipline, some of this technically bankrupt states, would have been self-sustaining and above waters.

LET’S LOOK AT SOME KEY INDICATORS OF WASTES, LEAKAGES, INEFFICIENCIES, AND INCOMPETENCIES IN SOME OF THESE STATES?

One of the 4 states that could actually survive without JAAC and FAAC allocations from Abuja is Lagos state.

LAGOS STATE: As at 2016/17, Lagos state had a workforce of 100,433, Annual Personnel Cost of N72billion (Now N92billion 2018 estimate) with IGR of over N300billion.

Few of the other states in the middle of the park (between the 4 solvent and 12 technically insolvent states) include:

ENUGU STATE: As at 2016/2017, Enugu state had a workforce of 50,000, Annual Personnel Cost of N20.4billion and IGR of over N20billion. This is a civil service state ooo.

KWARA STATE: As at 2016/2017, Kwara state had a workforce of 72,583, Annual Personnel Cost of N28.8billion and IGR of N18billion.

ONDO STATE: As at 2-16/2017, Ondo state had a workforce of 76,000, Annual Personnel Cost of N46billion and IGR of N8.68bn

ANAMBRA STATE: As at 2016/2017, Anambra state had a workforce of 37,000, Annual Personnel Cost of N20billion, which later grew to N21.2billion in 2018 to accommodate increased subventions to Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, its teaching hospital and the newly accredited Polytechnic in Mbakwu, Awka North, among others and IGR of N16.5billion.

NOW TO IMO STATE:

As at 2016/2017, Imo state, (one of the technically insolvent states), had a workforce of 40,000, Personnel Cost of N50billion and IGR of N5.9billion.

Note also unlike Anambra and Enugu state that have no unpaid pension liabilities, no excess crude oil income and unpaid wages, IMO STATE has unpaid pension arrears of over N57billion.

With the new minimum wage of N30, 000, Imo state annual personnel cost may hit N70billion if no urgent and comprehensive forensics are carried out to weed out the ghosts, plug the leakages and reform the public sector.

Compare to the other states in the SE, Imo state has one of the most outrageous personnel cost and non-personnel cost recurrent expenditure profile.

How can Kwara state with a workforce of 72,583 and IGR of almost N18billion be paying personnel cost of N28billion, whereas Imo state with a far lesser estimated workforce of 50,000 be paying almost twice the wage bill of Kwara state?

Look at the strength of Enugu and Anambra Workforce, their total annual personnel cost and the IGR per capita and you will see clearly the rot going on in the eastern heartland.

A close review of the numbers above show clearly that Anambra state generates almost enough IGR of N16billion to pay her workers wage bill of N20billion.

Enugu state generates enough IGR of more than N20billion to pay her workforce annual personnel cost of N20billion

Imo state does generates only N5.9billion as IGR, this is less than 12% her annual personnel cost of N50billion.

NOTE that the political class cannot loot without the active participation of the civil servants. There can be no IGR leakeages in the state without the active partnership of leadership/workers of State Board of Internal Revenue /Civil servants.

CAN THE DEEP ROT IN IMO STATE BE FIXED? CAN THE RECURRENT OVERHEAD BE SLASHED /CUT DOWN BY 50%, CAN THE IGR BE TRIPPLED IN 18 MONTHS?

Big yes!! Very Big Yes.

We have long advocated for those massive and urgent policy, program, advocacy, structural, prudential, fiscal and good governance reforms that can be executed to fix our dear Eastern Heartland.

God Bless Us.

Obiaraeri, Nnaemeka Onyeka.

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