These 33 Nigerian States Can’t Pay Workers Salaries


Recent statistics reveal that 33, out of the 36 states of the Federation, are unable to fulfill recurrent obligations and pay workers salaries.

According to a BudgIT report titled ‘State of States’, only three states can now fulfill its obligations to workers, which are Lagos, Rivers and Enugu.

The report focused on how much revenue is received and generated by the states, the total debt stock and the total recurrent expenditure of the states.

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The least able of states on BudgIT’s report is Akwa Ibom  followed by Bayelsa, Oyo and Osun. Other weak states are Ogun, Plateau, Delta, Kwara, Adamawa, Abia, Benue, Bauchi, Jigawa, Kano, Cross River, Kogi, Imo, Ondo, Nassarawa, Yobe, Kaduna, Ekiti, Sokoto Borno and Taraba.

Zamfara, Gombe, Anambra, Niger, Katsina, Ebonyi, Edo and Kebbi were classified as states with fair shortfalls.

Lagos, Akwa Ibom and Rivers are the states with the highest budget for 2016 while Delta, Lagos and Akwa Ibom are the states with the highest domestic debts.

The table of the external debt profile showed Lagos, Kaduna and Edo at the top of the table with Yobe, Borno and Taraba occupying the bottom spots on the table.

BudgIT, is a data-simplifying civic organisation that uses an array of technological tools to simplify the budget and matters of public spending for citizens, with the primary aim of raising the standard of transparency and accountability in government. It was founded in 2011.

In 2015, BudgIT said only 19 states were unable to fulfill their recurrent obligations. In June 2015, the government gave the states bailout to enable them clear arrears of salaries owed workers.

Five months ago, the Federal Government announced plans to give fresh N90 billion bailout to states, to cushion the effect of the current economic crisis, although with stringent conditions.

According to the Finance Ministry, in the fresh bailout, as at June, only five states qualified to access bailout funds with 22 conditions attached to the bailout.

One of the conditions for accessing the fund is that beginning December 2016, states must publish their financial statements, budgets and the quarterly budget performance within nine months of financial year end.

The money was to be disbursed in two tranches, with an initial N50 billion released in three months and another N40 billion in nine months, which would be shared among qualified states at a 9 percent interest rate.

In March, President Muhammad Buhari announced that 27, out of 36 states, are unable to pay workers’ salaries. A few months ago, just before Nigeria was officially declared to be in recession, 17 states were reportedly able to meet up with recurrent needs.

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Last month, President Buhari again lamented states’ inability to still pay salaries, despite collecting bailout funds from Abuja.