States spends N1.7tn on travel, meals, and more

States spends N1.7tn on travel, meals, and more
States spends N1.7tn on travel, meals, and more

A comprehensive analysis of budget performance reports from Open Nigerian States, a budgIT-backed platform, reveals that the 36 states of the federation collectively expended N1.71tn on recurrent expenditures during the first nine months of 2023.

The expenses encompassed allowances, foreign trips, office stationery, aircraft maintenance, and various other items.

The data from 24 states covered the first three quarters, while 12 states had information for the first two quarters.

Salaries alone accounted for N802.43bn across the analyzed period, but the focus of scrutiny was on other recurrent spending items.

If salaries were included, the total recurrent spending would have reached N2.52tn.

The diverse spending categories include foreign and domestic travel, Internet access fees, entertainment, foodstuff, honorarium/sitting allowance, wardrobe allowances, telephone bills, electricity charges, stationery, anniversaries/special days, welfare, aircraft maintenance, and more.

In addition, 30 out of the 36 states disbursed security votes totaling N87.45bn.

Overall state borrowings increased to N988bn by the third quarter of 2023.

Noteworthy individual state expenditures include Abia’s N17.61bn on various allowances and contributions, Akwa Ibom’s N92.54bn on allowances, social contributions, travel, and utilities, and Adamawa’s N40.90bn on non-salary expenses covering allowances, social contributions, office supplies, and refreshments.

The report highlights spending by several states, including Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross Rivers, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara.

Total state spending, including capital expenditure, reached N4.59tn during the reviewed period. However, concerns arise over states allocating funds to seemingly irrelevant items.

The economic challenges in the country have intensified scrutiny of government spending, with public figures like Funso Doherty questioning how funds are utilized.

States increased borrowing to N988.48bn during the period, leading to a cumulative debt of N536.01bn owed to financial institutions and other government enterprises.

Borrowings from multilateral lenders rose to N452.47bn.