NIGER DELTA STATES GOVERNORS

Six Niger Delta states which also six constitute states of the South-South geopolitical region have garnered a total of N9.53 trn from the Federation accounts in the last 19 years specifically between the year 2000 and 2019 according to the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI),   

NEITI, in a book, titled, “Perception of the Impact of 13% Oil Derivation Allocation”, launched in Abuja, yesterday, 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 River and Akwa Ibom.
In a section of the book, titled: “Oil Revenue Management and Benefits Capture in Nigeria’s Niger Delta”, authored by the staff of NEITI — Dauda Garuba, Dieter Bassi & Adaure Njoku, the transparency agency stated that 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 N9.53trillion was allocated to the six states of the South-South geopolitical region between 2000 and 2018. This is almost double of the allocation (N4.73trillion) to the second-highest geopolitical zone, North-West, and over three times the allocation to South-East geopolitical region.

“The 13% oil derivationallocation to the South-South states is the major reason for the observed hugerevenue disparity. Even though Abia and Imo states in the South-East region andOndo State in the South-West region also draw from the 13% derivation funds,their shares are way insignificant

 In terms of their contribution to the 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 thatthis reality, added to the deepening social and environmental consequences ofextraction, had turned the Niger Delta into an epicentre of unmatchedcontradictions.

On the one hand,according to NEITI, the region is home to highest sub-national revenue earnersfrom the Federation Accounts, while on the other hand, it shows very limitedimpacts in terms of the real value realised from the huge revenue allocationand disbursement to its component states.

It added that the topfour sub-national oil producers and revenue earners, namely, Akwa Ibom,Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states, received N1.60trillion, N1.20trillion,N1.38trillion and N1.54trillion, respectively from 2001 to 2018, noting thatdespite earning so much, the four states are also among the highest indebtedstates in Nigeria.

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

It added that: “Worsestill is that despite being the epicentre of several development policyinitiatives tailored to respond to the ecological needs and the negativeconsequences of oil extraction, the development outcomes from those initiativeshave met only minimal expectations.

“Despite Federal Government-led initiatives, such as the Niger Delta Development Board, the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority, the Presidential Committee on 1.5% Derivation Fund, the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission, the Niger Delta Development Commission and the Ministry of Niger Delta) to sub-national governments’ use of the 13% 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, thehigher revenue disbursement to Niger Delta states from the Federation AccountsAllocation Committee (FAAC) on account of 13% oil derivation have raisedcitizens’ expectations of millions of people in the region”, it added.