The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently released data on the 2013 internally generated revenue (IGR) of 14 states, showing Lagos outperforms or leapfrogs others.
Of the N590.60 billion generated by the 14 states, Lagos alone accounted for 65 percent of the total figure or N384.26 billion, questioning the viability of other states of the federation.
A quick analysis shows that the N590.60 billion 2013 IGR represents an increase of 45.43 percent from N405.82 billion recorded in 2012.
Rivers State, one of the states in the oil producing Niger Delta region of the country, came second with an IGR of 87.91 billion, representing 15 percent of the total figure. (See table)
Some analysts say because Lagos is the commercial hub of Nigeria that benefits from huge population and infrastructure development, that has attracted a lot of people, its tax revenue has to be robust.
Furthermore, skilled labour, good governance and security put places like Lagos in an advantageous position over most states in the North, especially the ones in the North East that have had growth potentials crimped as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency.
However, we believe if other states can look inwards and think outside the box and tap the potentials in their states, and also install effective tax system, they will bridge the wide gap in IGR between them Lagos.
The reliance on oil revenue has also prevented states from developing the natural resources at their disposal to boost IGR. Oil revenue, which accounts for 80 percent of Nigeria’s consolidated government revenue, has been dwindling due to theft and vandalism.
To further exacerbate the already anaemic position of country’s oil position is the fact that countries like United State of America have reduced demand for Nigeria oil.
Disappointingly, Zamfara, Taraba, Plateau, Niger, Kogi, Katsina, and Anambra, recorded less than 1 percent each of the total IGR of N590.60 billion.
PATRICK ATUANYA & BALA AUGIE