Akwa Ibom N260 billion

Rivers N230 billion

Delta State N209 billion

Bayelsa N173 billion

Lagos N168 billion

Kano N140 billion

Katsina N103 billion

Oyo N100 billion

Kaduna N 97 billion

Borno N94 billion and so on.

That the Nigerian state is in dire straits developmentally speaking is not news. The first four decades of our national life was blighted by military interventions, which for the best part set us back.

Unfortunately, 15 straight years of civil rule since 1999 has yet to leave a good impression of democracy, either. And understandably, majority of the populace are critical of government’s performance. However, a problem can be identified in our approach to this criticism. Whereas the federal government keeps a large chunk of the revenue that accrues to the Nigerian state to itself, it smacks of insincerity on our part when we allow the administrators in the two lower tiers of government to have a relatively easy ride, usually facing little or no scrutiny.

A couple of months ago, the Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala reeled out 10 states with the highest revenue allocation for 2013, and we have the numbers at the top of this piece. And going by her analogy, each of these states received more from the FG by way of allocations in 2013 than what some West African countries budgeted for the same year — Liberia at $433 million and Gambia $210 million.

In fact, put together, those two countries budgeted significantly less than at least the top five states earned from the FG. And, mind you, those state revenues do not include internally generated revenue (IGR).

Yet, while we are all fixated on Aso Rock and its occupants, state governors, senators, House of Representative members and Local Government Officials continue with their sometimes non-transparent and unaccountable governance largely unscathed. This clearly goes to show that demanding increased accountability and stewardship from the tiers of government closer to us, especially the state governments, is a step in the right direction.

It is noteworthy that this should in no way be misconstrued as making a case for the government at the centre. No. It’s just a call for a balance in our demands to know how taxpayers money is being utilised.

With the knowledge that our administrators at all levels have their eyes and ears on social media at the back of our mind, we invite your participation in SKYTREND NEWS DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY SERIES”. This series will provide you with an opportunity and a platform to “Rate your Governor, Senator, Representatives and Local Government Officials” beginning from Wednesday.

As our contribution to national development, we have opened up a Special Blog on our website called “Demanding Accountability” where the different series of discussion and analysis will be featured.

On a sector by sector basis, attempt a FAIR AND UNBIASED rating of the  afore-mentioned categories of officials and forward your assessment to us at editor@skytrendnews.com. In due course, we will publish our findings and share on our social media platforms and networks for further analysis and discussions.

We are sure positive authorities concerned will pick up useful feelers from public opinion to govern better.

They are there to serve us, it’s your duty and mine to make them accountable to us. Make your voice count today.

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