Lagos leads states in IGR, Yobe, Zamfara, Ekiti rank lowest
The status of Lagos State as the commercial nerve centre and biggest economy in the Nigerian federation has been further confirmed as the state emerged as the highest Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) earner among the country’s 36 states in 2015.
According to a report published last month by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the state generated N268.2 billion last year, far ahead of Rivers State, which recorded N82.1 billion and was placed on the second position.
The three other states with the highest IGR are Delta, Ogun and Edo with N40.8 billion, N34.6 billion and N19.1billion respectively.
In contrast, the states with the lowest IGR are Yobe (N2.3bn), Zamfara (N2.7bn), Ekiti (N3.3bn), Borno (N3.3bn) and Kebi (N3.6).
Between 2014 and 2015, several states recorded a sharp drop in their IGR. The states with the biggest drop in internal revenue are Kwara with 74 percent drop, Imo, 48 percent and Yobe, 37 percent drop.
Twenty-five other states also experienced a drop in internal revenue in the year under review including Enugu, which was the sixth highest IGR earner in 2015.
Speaking on the fiscal crisis faced by most states, the Head of Economics Department, University of Lagos, Professor Nwokoma, Ndubisi said the economic environment at the national level is affecting finances of the federating units.
According to him, the politics at the federal level does not make allowance for easy inflow of foreign investment that may benefit the economy at the state government level.
“If there are no investment, there can’t be output, and if there are no output, there will be no income, so what will the government tax?
Note that what happens at the centre, also affects the state,” said the don.
He wondered why most state governments couldn’t invest in agriculture and generate income even locally to boost IGR.
Ndubisi, a specialist on macroeconometric modelling and financial markets, also criticized the excessive involvement of government in the economy saying the approach has failed in different parts of the world and that it is already showing signs of failure in Nigeria.
He suggested that government should consider a market-led approach as a way of resuscitating the economy.
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