How 30 State Governments Spent N968.64bn on Recurrent Expenditures in Three Months


How 30 State Governments Spent N968.64bn on Recurrent Expenditures in Three Months


A recent report by The FIRST CLASS GISTS reveals that 30 state governments in Nigeria collectively spent N986.64 billion on recurrent expenditures, including refreshments, allowances, travel, and utilities, within the first three months of 2024.


Data for this analysis was sourced from the budget implementation reports available on Open Nigerian States, a platform supported by BudgIT for public budget data. Notably, data from Benue, Imo, Niger, Rivers, Sokoto, and Yobe States were unavailable for the first quarter of 2024.


The breakdown of the spending shows that N5.1 billion was allocated to refreshments, N4.67 billion to sitting allowances, N34.63 billion to travel expenses, and N5.64 billion to utility bills, totaling N50.02 billion in these categories alone.


Additionally, the states paid N405.77 billion in salaries to their workers. Other significant expenditures included costs for domestic and foreign travel, internet access, entertainment, honorariums, wardrobe allowances, telephone and electricity bills, stationery, special occasions, welfare, and aircraft maintenance.


For example, in the first quarter of 2024, Abia State spent N10.92 billion on recurrent expenditures, with N165.38 million on refreshments, N39.26 million on utilities, N214.57 million on sitting allowances, and N127.1 million on travel.


Adamawa State spent N23.7 billion, including N287.61 million on refreshments, N109.62 million on utilities, N79.57 million on sitting allowances, and N768.77 million on travel.


Akwa Ibom State’s recurrent expenditures totaled N46.85 billion, including N4.46 million on refreshments, N223.32 million on utilities, N6 million on sitting allowances, and N214.61 million on travel.


Anambra State’s recurring expenses were N9.91 billion, with N78.18 million on refreshments, N32.52 million on utilities, N42.09 million on sitting allowances, and N188.39 million on travel.


Bauchi State spent N35.75 billion, including N397.58 million on utilities, N50.8 million on refreshments, N287.11 million on allowances, and N413.56 million on travel.


Bayelsa State’s recurrent expenditures were N35.1 billion, with N28.4 million on utilities, N156.14 million on refreshments, and N279.99 million on travel.


Lagos State disbursed N189.62 billion for recurrent expenditures, including N1.21 million for refreshments, N383.12 million for utilities, N52.79 million for sitting allowances, and N633.37 million on travel.


Other states’ spending included Borno (N18.79 billion), Cross River (N17.44 billion), Delta (N68.68 billion), Ebonyi (N14.95 billion), Edo (N32.32 billion), Ekiti (N32.8 billion), Enugu (N7.51 billion), and Gombe (N20.89 billion).


Jigawa State spent N15.52 billion, Kaduna (N34.69 billion), Kano (N34.41 billion), Katsina (N21.87 billion), Kebbi (N11.67 billion), Kogi (N37.4 billion), Kwara (N24.34 billion), Nasarawa (N18.61 billion), Ogun (N47.12 billion), Ondo (N31.12 billion), Osun (N24.39 billion), Oyo (N40.12 billion), Plateau (N24.70 billion), Zamfara (N13.46 billion), and Taraba (N20.93 billion).


Given Nigeria’s economic challenges, these expenditures have drawn increased scrutiny. Financial experts have criticized the high recurrent spending, emphasizing the need for states to adopt financial innovations and improve their economic policies to attract investment.


Development economist Aliyu Ilias highlighted the importance of states developing their industrial and market capacities to attract foreign investment. He suggested that states should identify and leverage their strengths, such as Bayelsa’s oil resources, to draw in investors.


Professor Akpan Ekpo, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Uyo, advised states to enhance service delivery to increase revenue.


Similarly, Professor Segun Ajibola of Babcock University noted the persistent issue of high governance costs at the state level, with inadequate oversight leading to minimal economic benefits for local citizens. He criticized state assemblies for neglecting their oversight duties, allowing governors to operate with little transparency and accountability.


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