The 36 states of the federation and Federal Capital Territory recorded an increase in their combined internally generated revenues (IGRs)in the first half of 2021, figures obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed penultimate week. The NBS’ Internally Generated Revenue Report at state level in the year 2021 showed that Lagos State topped the chart as it recorded N267.23bn IGR, while Yobe had the least of N4.03bn.
The report reads in part: “The 36 States and Federal Capital Territory’s Internally Generated Revenue amounted to N849.12bn in H1 2021. In the first quarter of 2021, the Internally Generated Revenue was N398.26bn while in the second quarter it amounted to N450.86bn. This indicates a positive growth of 13.21 per cent. Lagos state has the highest Internally Generated Revenue with N267.23bn in H1 2021, followed by the Federal Capital Territory with N69.07bn and Rivers State with N57.32bn, while Yobe State with N4.03bn recorded the least.”
The IGR report was categorised under five categories, namely: pay as you earn, direct assessment, road taxes, other taxes and revenue from ministries, departments and agencies. It showed that the South-west geopolitical zone recorded the highest revenue, amounting to 385.41bn, followed by the South-south zone with N156.17bn, while the North-east recorded the least IGR revenue of N42.92bn. Of all the IGR categories, PAYE contributed the highest revenue of N488.12bn, followed by revenue from the MDAs which amounted to N173.56bn.
The significance of the NBS report does not lie in the increase in IGRs. No. What it reveals significantly is that all the states and the FCT are wising up to the difficult times we are in. They have realized, painfully that is, that the federation account is not endless spring water. The fund level drops each time money is shared.
It is this recognition by the states that they have to begin to help themselves before help comes from the centre that we welcome. It is healthier than their do-nothing attitude of the past. That complacency was unhealthy because these perilous times caught many of the states off guards. Only Lagos and perhaps Rivers were prepared. Not even the oil producing states that enjoy additional 13% derivation money from oil receipts foresaw the coming crunchy days.
Now that all the states are fully awoken from a long slumber, their IGRs are also rising. The increase will not be the same across the states for the obvious reason that some have more advanced economies than others. But all are now showing a healthy capacity to stay afloat with or without dole outs from the federation account.