- Category: GENERAL
- Published on Saturday, 04 August 2012 17:40
- Written by Admin
Lagos, Kaduna, Cross River, Ogun and Oyo occupied the top position on the list of external debts incurred by state governments as of June 30, 2012. According to states and Federal Government’s external debt stock obtained by SATURDAY PUNCH from the Debt Management Office, Borno, Delta, Plateau, Taraba and Anambra
states had the lowest external debts.
Lagos topped the list of external debtors with $517,677,672 as of June 30, 2012.
The foreign debt increased by 5.25 per cent from $491,847.295 in December, 2011.
However, while other four states depend on federal allocations, Lagos generates a huge internal revenue, which was about N23bn monthly in the first quarter of the year.
Next to Lagos is Kaduna with $197,155.525 foreign debt as against $182,261,250 in December 2011.
Cross River has $109,351,503 external debt. As of December, the state’s external debt was $107,532,721.
Ogun State is the fourth most indebted state with $96,285.547 as of June 30, 2012. Its external debt increased by 1.8 per cent from $94,575,129.
Oyo’s external debt (the fifth) was $78,878,401 as of June 30, 2012, as against $78,085,379 in December 2011.
SATURDAY PUNCH investigations showed that the present administrations in Ogun and Oyo inherited the foreign debts from their predecessors.
States, whose external debts are low, include Borno ($12,726,028); Delta ($15,785,110); Plateau ($20,190,627); Taraba ($20,681,527) and Anambra ($25,370,842).
At the zonal level, South-West leads the external debtors with $840,913,596, followed by the North-West, $473,305,365; South-South, $289,952,619; North-Central, $189,192,241 and North-East, $186,303, 921.
Checks at the Federal Ministry of Finance indicated that Lagos got N9.34bn as federal allocation in June; while Kaduna received N4.71bn; Ogun, N3.67bn; Cross River, N3.93bn; and Oyo, N4.40bn.
The federal allocations in June for the least indebted states were: Borno, N4.39bn; Delta, N14.22bn; Taraba, N3.64bn and Anambra, N3.80bn.
Most states, except Lagos, which rakes in an average of N23bn monthly as internally generated revenue, rely on federal allocations.
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, had at the annual public lecture of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, in Lagos in June, stated that the state’s monthly IGR was N23bn.
Fashola, who was represented by Lateef Abari, Permanent Secretary, Public Service Office, IGR of the state, said the amount rose from a paltry N600m monthly in 1999 to its current N23bn.
External debts of other states, apart from the 10 mentioned above are: Abia, $32,675,171; Adamawa, $29,183,118; Akwa Ibom, $61,198,851; Bauchi, $63,029,387; Bayelsa, $27,897,951; Benue, $26,501,393 and Ebonyi $41,060,946.
Edo State’s foreign debt is $41,408,440; Ekiti, $34,071,754; Enugu, $47, 788,769; Gombe, $29,572,867; Imo, $50,573,894; Jigawa, $28,720,760; Kano, $59,400,227; Katsina, $74,147,092 and Kebbi, $47,132,689.
Kogi State is owing $33,976,282; Kwara, $43,798,143; Nasarawa, $36, 547,616; Niger, $28,178,180; Ondo, $52,255,534; Osun, $61,744,688; Rivers, $34,301,764; and Sokoto, $40,419,413.
Others are Yobe State, $31,111,004; Zamfara, $26,329,259 and the Federal Capital Territory, $37,671,245.
When contacted, most state governments declined to give their domestic debts, which, SATURDAY PUNCH gathered, were on the high side.
Some, however, explained their external debts, while others said that there was no cause for alarm over their high indebtedness.
In Lagos, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Adetokunbo Abiru, said the state was credit worthy.
He said, “Our financial environment combines credit worthiness with probity, accountability and transparency in all facets of our financial transaction.”
On Wednesday and Thursday, the Ogun State Finance Commissioner, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, did not pick calls put to her phone. She also did not reply text messages sent to her.
But two weeks ago, she had told our correspondent that the financial position of the state would be made public through newspaper publications.
The Oyo State Government said it had not borrowed any fund since the inception of the current administration.
The state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Zachaeus Adelabu, said that any recorded external debt might have been incurred by the previous administration.
Adelabu said, “Possibly the debt was incurred during the last administration, I cannot say for sure. But what I can tell you is that this administration has not borrowed anything.”
The Special Adviser to the Cross River State Governor on Debt Management, Mrs. Francisca Effiom, declined comments on the state’s debt profile.
It was, however, gathered that the state’s domestic debt was about N80bn.
It was learnt that about N23bn of the debt was incurred during the construction of the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort under the administration of former Governor Donald Duke.
In Akwa Ibom State, SATURDAY PUNCH gathered that the state government had obtained N50bn loan from the capital market.
The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Samuel Ikon, said the loan was approved following an explanation by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Bassey Albert, that it would be spent with probity.
He noted that provision was made in the budget for a loan of N65bn, but the executive asked for N50bn, which was approved.
In Rivers, though the state Commissioner for Finance, Peterside Chamberlain, could not say how much the state owed banks, he explained that the current administration had borrowed N30bn in October 2010, an amount that was paid off in September 2011.
Peterside added that another loan of N20bn was accessed in July 2011.
He said the loans were taken from Guaranty Trust Bank and Zenith Bank and noted that a substantial part of the loan from Zenith Bank had already been paid back.
The commissioner pointed out that the funds were used to finance the state’s ongoing electricity project, which would be completed by December 2012.
The Ekiti State Government had obtained a N20bn bond from the Capital Market.
But the Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye, said the state government was not under any debt burden.
Afuye said, “As far as we know, Ekiti State is not suffering from any debt burden and this can be checked from the DMO where the debt profiles of all states and the Federal Government can be verified.”
In Osun State, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Sunday Akere, said the state had a N25bn internal debt.
Akere said N18.5bn of the N25bn was owed by the ousted administration of Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
He said, “In the twilight of the Oyinlola government in 2010, the administration secured an N18.5bn loan from United Bank for Africa. A major chunk of the loan was to go into the construction of six world class stadiums.”
Akere said the state government, under Oyinlola, was paying a monthly interest of N615m on the N18.5bn, adding that after refinancing the loan, the “(Rauf) Aregbesola administration now pays a monthly interest of less than N100m.”
Efforts by SATURDAY PUNCH to reach the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Duate Iyadi, proved abortive as his telephone was switched off.
But Governor Seriake Dickson had on assumption of office, said he inherited liabilities of N207bn from the former Governor Timipre Sylva administration.
However, in March 2012 during his appearance before the Senate joint committee on National Planning, Finance, Appropriation and States and Local Government, the Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Mr. Elias Mbam, stated that the state’s external debt stood at $107.532m.