Business News Nigeria

Rivers tops overall fiscal performance ranking– BudgIT

BudgIT, a civic-tech organisation, says Rivers State topped the 2022 overall fiscal performance ranking, just as in 2020 and 2021.

BudgIT’s Research and Policy Advisory lead, Mr Iniobong Usen, stated this on Thursday, at the presentation of the state of states report for 2022, with the theme, ”Sustainable Governance Reforms for a New Era,” in Abuja.

Radio Nigeria reports that the report assesses and rank the fiscal performance of all 36 states, from the most sustainable to the least sustainable.

According to Mr Usen, for the 2022 edition, all 36 states were ranked using five metrics. “Index A examines states’ ability to meet Operating Expenses (Recurrent Expenditure) with only their Internally Generated Revenue; Index A1 looks at the percentage year-on-year growth of each state’s Internally Generated Revenue”.

“Index B reviews states’ ability to cover all operating expenses and loan repayment obligations with their Total Revenue (Internally Generated Revenue + Statutory Transfers + Aids and Grants) without resorting to borrowing”.

“Index C estimates the debt sustainability of the states using four major Indicators: A. Debt as a per cent of GDP, B. Debt as a per cent of Revenue, C. Debt service as a per cent of Revenue and D. Personnel Cost as a per cent of Revenue among others”.Mr Usen stated.

According to him, two states, Kaduna and Cross River, made it to the top five on the overall fiscal performance ranking; Yobe dropped to the bottom five, having fallen 13 places from 21st in 2021 to 34th in 2022.

“Comparatively, the operating expenses of Yobe and Bayelsa, were more than seven times the revenues generated by both states internally, reinforcing the heavy reliance on federal transfers and budget support to fund their budgets” he said“

On index A1, save for three states, which ranked the least, Anambra, Kogi and Kebbi, 33 states experienced an increase in their IGR from the previous year, with 13 states growing their IGR by more than 50 per cent.

Jigawa, Delta, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom and Nasarawa ranked first to fifth respectively on Index C, which assessed the debt sustainability of the 36 states,” he explained.

Mr Usen also said Cross River, Ogun, Imo, Osun, and Plateau were the bottom five states on Index C. “Lagos State, with a capital importation of 31.78 billion dollars between 2019 and 2021, received 99.19 per cent of the cumulative capital importation for 36 states of the federation, while, 11 states received no capital importation between 2019 and 2021,” he said.“

“On fiscal transparency, the 36 states of the Federation currently publish promptly their proposed budgets, approved budgets, budget implementation reports, and audited financial statements for both the States and the Local Governments.

only a few states have been able to establish and operationalize at state-level functional Treasury Single Account (TSA) to ensure that it covers at least 70 per cent of all its finance,” He said.

The Country Director of Budgit Foundation, Mr Gabriel Okeowo, explained that the initiative was meant to encourage transparency and accountability local, state levels and MDAs of government in the country .

Reporting by Julian Osamoto; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare