• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
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Gombe, Jigawa, others rank top with best economic outlook among states – Report

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Gombe, Jigawa, Ekiti, Lagos and FCT have been identified as states with the best positive outlook in Nigeria for 2024, a pcl. State Performance Index (PSPI) shows.

The latest national assessment report titled “My State: Economic Potentials and Performance of States in Nigeria”, provides informational resources for understanding the socioeconomic performance and risk profiles of Nigerian states.

The survey which was conducted in 2023, engaged 6,096 respondents nationwide, representing a cross-section of Nigerian society.

The PSPI utilised four classes of indicators to assess state performance: socioeconomic performance indicators from secondary sources, socioeconomic performance from surveys, socioeconomic endowments or potentials of the state, and risk exposure.

With a PSPI score of 0.80, Gombe ranked first in the state performance index.

The Northeastern state topped the list due to its government continuity in investments and infrastructure, alignment with federal initiatives, economic diversification, and strategic agricultural programmes.

Major contributors to this achievement include robust public institutions, a secure environment, exceptional basic healthcare services, a favourable business climate, high employment rates, effective technology utilisation in governance among others.

With 88.23 billion FAAC Allocation, Jigawa stands as the second state with the best outlook, having 0.67 as its index score.

Robust infrastructure, resilient public institutions, a conducive business environment, and adequate security measures for lives and property was said to have positively influenced Jigawa’s position.

According to the report, key areas that call for more attention are the state’s low internally generated revenues, modest GDP, and the imperative to enhance literacy and employment rates.

Despite its limited resources, Ekiti took the third position as the top performing state in Nigeria with a score of 0.60.

Predominantly agrarian, Ekiti’s economy is further propelled by academia, mining, and tourism.

Ekiti thrives well due to its strong resolve in providing quality basic education and healthcare; a proactive stance against illicit economic activities; robust public institutions, the preservation of social and cultural values, and a relatively healthy Capital Expenditure to budget ratio.

But more still needs to be done to promote the well being of the people.

“Areas requiring attention include growing the level of IGR and improving the use of technology for governance,” the report indicated.

Meanwhile, Lagos State which boasts of over 659 billion internally generated revenue ranked fourth in the outlook with 0.49 PSPI score.

According to the report, Lagos stands as the best performing state both economically and socio-economically due to a robust GDP, impressive IGR, achievements in financial inclusion, high literacy rates, and prudent public debt management.

However, the report recommended that the state can do better by improving public institutions, enhancing security measures, upgrading public healthcare services, ensuring access to potable water, focusing on sanitation, curbing illicit economic activities, and preserving its rich social and cultural values.

The seat of power, Federal Capital Territory Abuja (FCTA) came as the fifth state, having 0.49 as its performance index.

FCTA grapples with urban challenges, including traffic congestion, housing shortages, and infrastructure maintenance.

But its narrative can be changed if more concentration is put on tapping the state’s agricultural potential so residents can engage in farming and agribusiness.

“Abuja’s business-friendly environment also fosters entrepreneurship across diverse sectors, including technology, hospitality, and retail,” the report said.

Conversely, Plateau, Nasarawa, Zamfara, Abia, and Imo states stood as the least performing states accordingly.

Plateau, located in north central Nigeria, achieved a PSPI Score of -0.14, ranking 33rd out of 37 states on the back of high-risk perception.

The state’s trajectory can be improved if the government focuses more on investing in infrastructure maintenance, promoting responsible mining practices, enhancing energy supply and quality healthcare.

Nasarawa, aptly described as the Home of solid minerals, ranked 34th out of 37 states with -0.17 as its PSPI score, indicating underperformance.

While the state performs averagely in employment rates, it registers relatively low performance in various indicators, ranking among the lowest nationally.

“Critical areas of concern include the use of technology, sanitation, the prevalence of infectious diseases, the proliferation of illicit economic activities, and the erosion of social and cultural values,” the report noted.

Furthermore, Zamfara, with 82.7 percent poverty rate achieved a PSPI Score of -0.19.

Key contributors to this underperformance, according to the report, include inadequate management of security issues, the prevalence of illicit economic activities, an unfavourable environment for trade and investment, ineffective use of technology among others.

In the far east, Abia and Imo had -o.32 and -0.41 as their PSPI scores respectively, showing a great underperformance index.

Abia’s low performance was compounded by “the pessimistic perspectives voiced by its citizens in our survey”.

Beyond effective management of citizens’ perceptions of performance, the report recommended strengthening of public institutions, investing in infrastructure, and fostering human capital development.

Imo, which is regarded as the least performing state in Nigeria, is plagued with insecurity, low ease of doing business, high unemployment, inadequate access to potable water, subpar healthcare and basic education, and limited utilisation of technology.

“By undertaking necessary measures and harnessing its untapped potential, such as gas reserves and fertile land, Imo State can pave the way for an industrial revolution and economic advancement,” the report recommended.