States' debts rise to N3.3tn – NEITI

By The Citizen

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on Tuesday said the debt burden of the 36 states of the federation rose to over N3.342tn at the end of 2016.

According to NEITI, Lagos, Delta, Osun and Akwa Ibom topped the chart of highly indebted states with N1.262tn, representing about 38 per cent of the entire sum owed by the 36 states of the federation.

The breakdown shows that Lagos was indebted to the tune of N603.25bn; Delta, N331.95bn; Osun, N165.91bn; and Akwa Ibom, N161.23bn.

This information was contained in the third edition of the NEITI Quarterly Review, a publication of the agency, which focused on Federal Accounts Allocation Committee disbursements in 2016.

It stated that the publication with facts and data from the National Bureau of Statistics, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, FAAC and the Management Office, was consistent with the mandate of NEITI on monitoring of fiscal allocation and statutory disbursement of revenues due to the three tiers of government.

'NEITI's legitimate interest in the debt profile, revenue generation and management in Nigeria is as a result of the fact that over 70 per cent of the revenues involved are derived from the extractive industry,' the agency said.

Currently, the states with high debt burden are Benue, which is indebted to the tune of N49.15bn; Edo, N94.54bn; Ekiti, N67.3bn; and Kano, N81.05bn.

The publication stated that Katsina was indebted to the tune of N30.03bn; while and Ogun owed N103.75bn by the end of last year.