Lagos, Osun Are Nigeria’s Most Indebted States


The debt profile of the country and its component parts has recently come into focus, more especially since most states could hardly embark on any capital-intensive project or pay salaries due to huge domestic and foreign debts.

The South West and parts of South-South are said to be the highest indebted states in the country with Lagos, recently declared sixth largest economy in Africa by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), leading the pack with debt profile of at least N368,409,682,283.25.

Debts owed by states are in multiple categories: foreign debt, domestic debt, CBN bailout funds and the Budget Support Facility arranged for them by the Federal Government.

According to Sunday Tribune, all other debts including foreign, domestic and bailout funds have been accounted for but details of the budget support facility of N510 billion to 35 states was yet to be made available as of the time of filing this report.

Presently, these are some of the heaviest indebted states in the country while their civil servants have not earned salaries for upwards of six months.

Ondo, an oil producing state, earning additional 13 percent derivation fund from crude produced from oil wells located within the state is owing N94,404,105,397.7 debts to various creditors.

Last year, outgoing governor of the state, Olusegun Mimiko disclosed that his government was working with different groups of investors to begin exploration of bitumen available in large quantities and also establish a chocolate manufacturing factory.

The state, aside owing staff salaries, was yet to see the establishment of promised development projects and is owing at least N51,978,164,924.55, according to figures from Debt Management Office.

Also, Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State promised to turn the state into a commercial hub when he was campaigning for office around 2007.

About a year into his administration, he told reporters that he would never wait for monthly allocation from Abuja to settle wage bill.

Presently and despite huge potentials of the state in terms of agriculture, mineral and human resources, civil servants are being paid half salaries which are not even paid up to date.

According to investigation, the state owes N203,151,879,799.5 without the running budget support facility.

Ogun is an aquatic state with all the accompanying potentials. Available records show that Ogun is heavily indebted to the tune of N126,353,703,792.15.

Ekiti State, aside also depending almost solely on monthly disbursements from Abuja, is owing workers some arrears of salary in addition to Federal Government, other domestic and foreign creditors the sum of N78,938,996,132.51 in debts.

Source: Nigerian Tribune


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