HAD the Nigerian Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU) been granted autonomy to operate for the past 10 years, with its new guidelines on financial autonomy to local governments, it would have helped the 774 local governments across the country access a whopping sum of N14.7 trillion without the intervention of the all-powerful state governors.
The NFIU had directed that as from June 1, 2019, local governments would have direct access to their statutory allocation, and no governor would be able to divert the fund into the state’s account.
The new measures, introduced by the present administration to restore local governments’ financial autonomy is coming less than a year after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the NFIU bill into law, thus separating the agency from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to data from the Office of the Accountant-General, N14,708,838,964,375.70 has been allocated to the 774 local governments between 2008 and 2018, and larger percentage of this allocation has been diverted by governors into the state account.
On state basis, the data reveals that local governments in Kano state have received the highest allocation amounting to N832.6 billion, followed by Lagos state – N829.6 billion, Katsina – N613.4 billion, Oyo state – 569.6 billion, and Kaduna state – N504.9 billion as the top five states with the highest amount of allocation to its local governments.
Least five states States whose local governments have received the lowest allocation in the past 10 years are Bayelsa – N167 billion, Gombe – N219.4 billion, FCT – 226.8 billion, Ebonyi – N230.9 billion, and Nasarawa – 240.4 billion.
The allocation sharing principle may not be far from the 2006 population figures that put Kano as the most populated state and followed by Lagos state. From the bottom, FCT had the lowest population figure and followed by Bayelsa state.
The population figures and the number of local governments in each state are important factors considered in the allocation of resources.
One interesting thing is that, of the first 100 local governments with the highest allocation, only eight local governments from the South-South region of the country made the list – the region where the country gets about 75 per cent of its earnings.