OPINION: Does Nigeria Need a Revenue Crisis? – by Leonard Shilgba

Published:9 Nov, 2012

OPINION: Does Nigeria Need a Revenue Crisis? – by Leonard Shilgba

I am thinking about a situation when crude oil prices do not exceed 40 US dollars a barrel and the demand for Nigeria’s oil drops, partly because the US (a country that imports about 40 percent of Nigeria’s crude oil) cuts down significantly on imports of the product from Nigeria as from other exporters of crude oil to that country. I am thinking about the time when the game that our rulers engage in so blatantly with impunity, which is called Oil Bunkering, turns out to become more deadly than we are made to believe. I look forward to that situation when the revenue of Nigeria cannot support the constitutional allowances and remunerations that Nigeria’s rulers award themselves. Would it not be interesting to see scavengers of Abuja scamper away because the honey pot is wiped clean? Board members of many redundant and unprofitable government corporations shall find nothing to satisfy their lusts with. State governors shall be hard pressed for their lack of ingenuity and creativity as they cannot cope with riots in their states caused by a genuine inability to pay the salaries of generally unproductive government workers. Abuja cannot help then. The center will not hold, and the attraction of this union shall rapidly wither away.

Since I was a young boy I have heard the idle affirmation of Nigerian rulers about “the need to diversify the economy.” But where is the will or the motivation? The will is not there in our rulers because there is no necessity; and there is no necessity while the black gold flows continually and customers are not lacking, who are willing to provide the soliloquizing pill to deaden any sensitivity towards the danger the country faces should it continue to rely heavily on one product as a major revenue source. I should think that Nigerians who know about the real and potent trials of the present lack of patriotic governance ought to ponder ways to bring about the right deeds of governance or force them.

The 2013 federal budget proposal that has already been presented to the national legislature by President Jonathan reveals three present problems with Nigeria: First, the amount of revenue Nigeria should legitimately expect next year is not fully covered in the proposal. Two, the federal government is still acting as though there is no urgency for increased capital votes for expenditure on infrastructural development, education for the future challenges of new technology, welfare programs such as public housing in partnership with local governments (See the fourth schedule of the 1999 constitution which makes building and maintenance of houses for the poor and infirm mandatory for local councils), and on strategic partnership with state governments on projects and programs that will reduce unemployment. Three, there is no evidence that the federal government is eager to cut down on big government by implementing the recommendations of the Orosanya’s committee it had set up, which include either complete scrapping of redundant departments and agencies or merging some of them that perform duplicate functions. The budget proposal is silent on shrinking of the size of government in any form or shape.

Let us take the average price for crude oil for 2012, which is about 100 US dollars per barrel. If we assume this average for 2013 also and the proposed crude oil production of about 2.5 million barrels a day in 2013, an income of 250 million US dollars a day for Nigeria and oil companies is expected. According to Dr. Ngozi Iweala, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, 57 percent of crude oil money goes to Nigeria while the oil companies take 43 percent. This translates to about 52 billion US dollars for Nigeria or 8.1 trillion naira. If the revenue collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) so far in 2012 is considered as a benchmark (FIRS announced tax revenues of 3.81 trillion naira by October 2012, with one more quarter to go) for 2013, we can safely conclude that the total estimated revenue available to Nigeria from crude oil sales and taxes collected by FIRS in 2013 is more than 12 trillion naira. But President Jonathan laid before Nigerians a budget proposal for 2013 with a declaration that estimated revenue accruable to Nigeria in 2013 was only 10 trillion naira, out of which the federal government’s share was about 3.9 trillion naira. I am concerned about the math here; it just does not add up! Secondly, the president was silent about revenue from Nigeria’s investment in gas (the NLNG project). Nigeria controls 49 percent of the NLNG project and produces about 10 percent of world’s gas production. Why has the Jonathan government kept the revenue from gas sales from its employers, the Nigerian people? This lack of transparency is not acceptable, and our legislators must ask those relevant questions. They must unearth revenues that the federal government keeps away from both the state and local governments. An insidious conspiracy of fudging figures is going on while Nigerians who know don’t talk and those who don’t know don’t ask. Nigeria does not need and cannot afford a deficit of about 1 trillion naira while insufficient information is given about the true size of Nigeria’s expected revenue.

Does Nigeria need a revenue crisis to reveal information about our genuine revenues that is kept from our prying eyes? We are told how 400,000 barrels of crude oil are stolen daily! Don’t we have government anymore, or are those figures spouted out just to hide what is stolen by the kleptomaniacs in public office under some innocuous headings? Most probably, it would not move relevant government officials to resign, and neither would they lose their jobs should that figure rise to even 1 million barrels a day in the near future. The secrecy about our nation’s revenues, which is continually being spun by the PDP government, has come to be accepted as a difficult mathematical open problem that no polymath is presently inclined to consider. We must consider this problem. We need to resolve this seeming puzzle.

Do you know that the federal government proposes only 1.5 trillion for capital expenditure in the 2013 budget? And do you know that 1.03 trillion naira is the deficit? What that means is that only about 500 billion naira out of the revenues of Nigeria will be spent on things that Nigeria needs to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). If you don’t cringe then I wonder if you understand what I am talking about. Our legislators need to get experts to educate them about the futility of Mr. Jonathan’s budget proposal; how it lacks truthfulness, vision, rationality, and transparency. A revenue crisis may hit Nigeria very soon, and necessity shall be placed on Nigerians to choose leaders who have a heart for the people. We can’t afford anymore leaders who are never alarmed by their incompetence and lack of empathy for the people.

 

Leonard Shilgba is an Associate Professor of Mathematics with the American University of Nigeria (www.aun.edu.ng ) and Chair of the Middle Belt Alliance (www.middlebeltalliance.org )

Email: shilgba@middlebeltalliance.org

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The Senate on Tuesday passed a Vote of Confidence on Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki's presidency, putting to bed insinuations in some quarters that it is divided. The motion, which was moved by Senator Samuel Anyanwu (Imo east), had a wide range of support base and acceptance of majority of the Senate, as 81 Senators supported the motion. The passage of the Vote of Confidence on Saraki's leadership as President of the Senate has effectively laid to rest...

Khloe Kardasian Brings Sexy Back In Smoking Hot Photo Shoot

Khloe Kardashian has shared an unaltered photograph from a recent photoshoot after haters slammed the pictures online for being overly retouched. The Keeping Up With The Kardashians reality star is the cover story of Complex mag’s August/September edition in a sexy workout shoot.   Read More: uk.celebrity.yahoo.com

Yes! Eva Longoria Wears Glasses

She’s the face of a new campaign for Australian discount eyewear brand Specsavers, and Eva Longoria has been accused of faking her need for glasses just to get the gig. Jenna Clarke of the Sydney Morning Herald claimed, “Eva was in town representing a budget eyewear chain, but according to photographers that have been snapping her for close to 15 years, she doesn’t wear spectacles. I’ve only found two photos of her ever spotted wearing glasses outside the...

Robbery, Thuggery, Now Forgery: A Legislative Evolution By Gbolahan Yusuf

The legislature. Many see it as the most important leg in the tripod of governance, especially given its power as a supervisory arm over the almighty executive even while limiting the power of the judiciary over it. It is public knowledge that any democracy revolves around the people (of, by, and for the people), and so the powers of the legislature are easily justified seeing as it stands for the people in any government. Or well, it...

EFCC Forms Team For Saraki’s Wife, Yar’Adua’s Daughter

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday raised a team of crack investigators to grill Senate President Bukola Saraki’s wife, Oluwatoyin and the late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s daughter, Hajiya Zainab Dakingari. Mrs. Saraki has written the EFCC seeking to appear today or tomorrow. Expressing her readiness to cooperate with the anti-graft commission, she had never received unlawful public funds. A source in the commission said: “We are ready for Mrs. Oluwatoyin Saraki and Hajiya Zainab...

Gbajabiamila emerges Reps Majority Leader

Representative of the Surulere Federal Constituency, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila has emerged the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives. Details to come later...

Gbajabiamila Emerges Reps Majority Leader

The leadership crisis in the House of Representatives appears to have been resolved as the member, representing Surulere Federal Constituency of Lagos, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, has emerged the Majority Leader of the House. President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met the representatives ahead of their resumption today but the federal lawmakers emerged from the meeting singing discordant tunes, suggesting that the meeting with the president had failed. Read More: punchng

Two Senior Pastors Continue Their Bloody Fight Over Who Will Be General Superintendent

The shameless leadership tussle in the Assemblies of God Church is getting out of hand. Reports suggest that there would have been another bloodbath recently but for the timely intervention of the police. Vanguard reports that factionalization of the church has resulted in crisis which has been brewing in the church as two senior Reverends, Professor Paul Emeka and Dr Chidi Okoroafor, have been at loggerheads, each laying claim to be the overall leader of...

APC Supports Buhari’s Probe Of Jonathan’s Administration

The All Progressives Congress, APC, has expressed strong support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to probe the immediate past federal government, saying the revelations of mind-boggling corruption that are just beginning to emerge have made such a probe imperative. ”Some people have insinuated that the Buhari Administration should ignore the massive looting of our patrimony and move on. We say no responsible government can afford to do that, because it will amount to endorsing corruption and...

“Poverty Is Not An Excuse For Failure. Do Something!” – Auma Obama

Some inspiring quotes by President Obama's sister, Auma. "When Barack first came to Kenya he slept in a small camping bed in my flat" "I once drove Barack in my battered beetle here in Kenya. 27 years later he gave me a ride in the Beast. Poverty is not an excuse for failure. Everyone can succeed. Do something!" Credit- linda Ikeji

Boko Haram Fails In Another Attempt To Capture Home Town Of COAS

Boko Haram terrorists have failed in their latest attempt to capture Buratai, Borno State, the home town of Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Maj-Gen. Tukur Buratai and also the location of a military camp. The Director Army Public Relations (DAPR) Col. Sani Usman, who confirmed this in a short message Tuesday noted that this is about the fourth time since February 2014 the dreaded group has attacked Buratai. Usman said that the terrorist invaders had...

38 People Dead: Boko Haram Members On The Run, Chadian Forces In Pursuit

The Chadian army has launched a “major operation” to flush out Boko Haram jihadists from islands in Lake Chad, sparking violent clashes on Monday between soldiers and the Islamic State-affiliated group. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will, meanwhile, travel to neighbouring Cameroon on Wednesday for talks on combating the regional threat posed by the extremist group, whose six-year insurgency has claimed 13,000 lives and caused about 1.5 million people to flee their homes. On Monday, “violent clashes” raged near...

PDP Spent N2.5bn, APC N728m During Election Campaigns – Report

A report by Compliance and Content Monitoring Ltd (CCM) has revealed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Party (APC) spent a combined N3.23 billion on political campaign advertisements for this year’s general elections, according to a report at the weekend. According to the report PDP spent for about N2.5 billion (77 per cent) and APC spent N728 million (23 per cent). CCM said the media advertisements were placed on radio, television, press...

Bobby Brown will Not Get Any Part of the Fortune Whitney, Bobbi Kristina Left Behind

Bobbi Kristina was set to inherit at least $20 million when Whitney Houston died, but there were strings attached and it looks like most of that fortune will be determined by Whitney's wishes ... not her daughter's. Accordng to News We got from TMZ: We've seen a copy of Whitney's will, which established a trust in which Bobbi Kristina got 1/10 of Whitney's estate when she turned 21. Bobbi Kristina was set to get 1/6 of...

Court Refuses To Stop Probe Of Ekweremadu, Others

A Federal High Court in Abuja has refused to stop the police from continuing investigation of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and others over alleged forgery of the Senate 2015 Standing Rules. Justice Gabriel Kolawole yesterday refused an ex-parte application filed by Senator Prince Gilbert Emeka Nnaji which sought to restrain the police from proceeding with the investigation and making public the report of the inquiry. Nnaji requested interim orders to restrain the...

Gaddafi’s Son Sentenced To Death

A court in Libya has sentenced Saif al-Islam, the most prominent son of Libya's slain leader Muammar Gaddafi, to death by firing squad. He was sentenced in absentia on Tuesday by a court in the capital, Tripoli, along with eight other senior members of the former regime, which was overthrown in 2011. They were accused of war crimes and suppressing peaceful protests during the revolution, a state prosecutor said in early June. The trial...

PMB Seeks Senate’s Confirmation Of Newly Appointed Service Chiefs

The Senate on Tuesday announced the receipt of a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari, requesting the confirmation of Service Chiefs, recently appointed by him. President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, read the letter at plenary as the Red Chamber resumed after five weeds recess. Saraki said that the letter for confirmation of the appointments was in accordance with the provisions of Section18 (1) of the Armed Forces Act, 2004. Read More: vanguardngr

House Crisis: Reps Adopt APC’s Zoning Formular

A make or mar meeting between opposing factions of All Progressives Congress members in the House of Representatives, ended early Tuesday with the two sides adopting an earlier directive from the APC leadership on the zoning of key leadership positions. The party had zoned the positions in a letter to the speaker, Yakubu Dogara, on June 23. In the letter, the party presented Femi Gbajabiamila (South-West) as the house leader; Ado Doguwa (North-West) as deputy...

Late Bobbi Kristina Had History of Falling Asleep Wasted in Bathtubs

Bobbi Kristina got extremely drunk the night before her mom died, fell asleep in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and flooded the room ... and it could be critical evidence in the homicide investigation. Law enforcement sources tell TMZ, Bobbi was partying with Whitney Houston at the Beverly Hilton bar and got drunk and unruly. Bobbi Kristina went up to her room, drew a bath and fell asleep in the tub ... intoxicated. By the time she...

Over 250,000 Barrels Of Oil Siphoned Daily, PMB Raises Alarm

President Muhammadu Buhari has raised the alarm that oil theft continues at the moment with an average of more than 250,000 barrels being siphoned daily. Speaking yesterday on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) programme tagged “Good Morning Nigeria”, Buhari promised  that he would soon ensure that those committing that crime against Nigeria are faced with facts and prosecuted. He said crude was  being illegally loaded from the country’s terminals by unpatriotic Nigerians that only...

Tyrese Blasts Urban Radio For Not Playing His Song

White radio will ONLY play R&B/Soul if it's performed by white guys ... so claims the black guy who has the #1 R&B/Soul album ... Tyrese. Tyrese does not mince words ... he says he can't get white radio DJ's to play his single "Shame" to save his life ... it's only played on black stations. He then ups the ante, claiming white radio would love "Shame" if it was performed by Justin Timberlake, Sam Smith or Robin Thicke.

Woman Who Accused Bill Clinton Of Sexual Harassment Launches Anti-Hillary Website

A woman who has claimed she was sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton during his presidency in 1993 is going after his wife with a website chronicling 'a scandal a day' – and she's looking for more sex-harassment victims. Kathleen Willey testified in a lawsuit brought by Paula Jones against the former president that he groped her and kissed her in a small room near the Oval Office. The Clintons and their lawyers disputed that claim. But...

Nick Gordon Learnt About Bobbi Kristina’s Death Over The Internet… Releases Press Statement

Bobbi Kristina Brown's boyfriend Nick Gordon learned of the 22-year-old's death over the internet, according to reports. An insider told Us Weekly that Nick learned of Bobbi's death "just like everyone else did, from the internet" as he was in Florida with his mother at the time the news broke. Nick had been banned from seeing Bobbi Kristina and earlier this month he was served with $10 million lawsuit, accusing him of being violent towards her...

Army To Establish Motorcycle Battalion To Combat Terrorism

The Nigerian Army is considering setting up of a special force that will use motorcycles to check the activities of terrorists. The new battalion, when established will complement efforts of the ground troops. It has been learnt that the Motorcycle Battalion will be a special unit out of the initiative of the army chief, Major General Tukur Buratai, in his efforts to wipe out Boko Haram within the shortest possible time. Reports say that the new...

Earthquake Hits Indonesia

The U.S. Geological Survey said a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Indonesia’s Papua region on Tuesday. It said the quake struck inland, some 244 kilometres west of the provincial capital of Jayapura. No tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of deaths or damage. Credit: NAN

More On Obama’s Speech During AU Visit

Closing a historic visit to Africa, President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged the continent's leaders to prioritize creating jobs and opportunity for the next generation of young people or risk sacrificing future economic potential to further instability and disorder. He said the "urgent task" of generating jobs for a population that is expected to double to...

Obama Addresses AU, Emphasizes On Human Rights

Barack Obama arrived at African Union headquarters Tuesday, where he will become the first US president to address the 54-member continental bloc, at the end of a tour focused on corruption, rights and security. In his speech, President Obama addresses climate change, security, food security, human rights and democracy. Details on his speech will be brought soon...

Rihanna And Lewis Hamilton Dating?

Lewis, 30, has cooled things off with model Kendall Jenner so he can give the singing star his full attention. Last Saturday he and Rihanna, 27, dined at New York restaurant Da Silvano before moving on to 1 OAK nightclub. They then went to her penthouse in the city to carry on partying into the early hours. Read More: 

News Alert!! Godswill Akpabio Emerges Senate Minority Leader

Former Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Godswill Akpabio has been named the minority? leader of the senate. THE CABLE reports that Akpabio was nominated by the south-south caucus of the PDP in the senate. His nomination, however, is against the standing rules of the senate, which exempts first-term senators from holding principal positions. More details later.

This Man Is CONVINCED He is Jesus Christ, Already Gaining Followers

An Australian man believes the Shroud of Turin proves he is the second coming of Jesus Christ - and he says the Vatican is convinced, too. Before we go any further, we have to explain what the shroud of Turin is. The Shroud of Turin is  a length of linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical trauma in a manner consistent with crucifixion. Many believe that the image on...

Jihadi John Flees ISIS?

British terrorist “Jihadi John” has reportedly left  ISIS, fearing for his life after being identified six months earlier as a Kuwaiti-born Londoner from a well-to-do family. Jihadi John left because the terrorist organization might drop him "like a stone or worse if they feel he is no longer of any use to them," according to a source for the British news outlet, the Daily Express. The Daily Express report has not been confirmed by government...

Committee Threatens Sanctions Against Violent House Of Reps Members

As members of the House of Representatives resume plenary on Tuesday, the Adhoc Committee on Code of Conduct has warned returning members to behave orderly. Plenary was cut short the last time the House sat on June 25 when some members attempted to seize the mace leading to a free-for-all fight between members loyal to Speaker Yakubu Dogara and Femi Gbajabiamila. After the fracas, Mr. Dogara postponed plenary to July 28. The ad hoc...

NASS Crisis: I’ll Crush All Opposition, Mostly APC Members – Speaker Dogara Warns

Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Monday, July 27, 2015, warned all members of the parliament, mostly, members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who are against his leadership, to conduct themselves orderly as the parliament resumes, otherwise, they would be severely dealt with. According to Daily Independent, Members of the APC Loyalist Group had been at dagger drawn with the speaker over the allocation of the Principal Officers seats meant for the...

Flood Wreaks Havoc In Anambra

Awka and Onitsha, the capital and commercial nerve centre of Anambra state, were yesterday heavily impacted by flood following torrential rains that lasted from the early hours of Sunday to yesterday. By yesterday afternoon, the flood had pulled down a residential building at Udoka Estate and submerged another at Ngozika Estate in Awka. The flood also made Awka Ring Road leading to Nibo impassable. The flood, which made the Obibia River to overflow across the road,...

A Minister In GEJ’s Govt Stole $6Billion – Gov. Oshiomole Alleges

Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomole has alleged that a minister that served in former president Jonathan's administration stole a whooping $6billion. Governor Oshiomole made the allegation while speaking to state house correspondents after a meeting with President Buhari today. He said American officials made the alleged fraud known to the Buhari led delegation during the state visit to the US last week. "PDP destroyed the country. I mean from the lips of American officials; senior officials of the...

Tribunal Dimisses Wike’s Bid To Relocate Election Tribunal To Rivers

The Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, has dismissed an application by Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, seeking an order relocating its venue to Rivers. In a ruling, the three-man panel led by Justice Muazu Pindiga, dismissed the application on the ground that the tribunal had power to sit in Abuja, following security challenges in the state. The tribunal also held that the composition of the tribunal was not in any way defective...

Boko Haram: President Buhari To Visit Cameroon

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will travel to neighbouring Cameroon on Wednesday for talks with that country's President Paul Biya on combatting the regional threat from Boko Haram, Nigerian officials said. "President Buhari is going to Cameroon on Wednesday. He will hold talks with President Biya on arrival on Wednesday and the issue of Boko Haram will be central in their discussion," presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said. Since his inauguration on May 29, Buhari has...

A Lot Of Knowledgeable Nigerians Have Been Compromised, Buhari Explains Why It Is Taking Time To Appoint Ministers

The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Buhari has once again explained why it is taking him time to appoint ministers, saying that a lot of knowledgeable Nigerians fit for the position have been compromised and it is very risky to appoint such people into office. He explained that appointing ministers who will be taking instructions from ‘powerful people’ outside the cabinet will take Nigeria back to square one and that is part of what...

Eve & Billionaire Husband Maximillion Cooper Enjoy a Family Vacation in Barbados

Grammy award winner Eve and billionaire husband Maximillion Cooper got engaged on Christmas Day in 2013 and wedded in June 2014 in Ibiza, Spain. They were on Sunday papped enjoying a family vacation in Barbados. The 36-year-old rapper wore a white two-piece with a scalloped top while on holiday with Gumball 3000 co-founder Maximillion and his four children from a previous marriage. Eve was in the driver's seat of a Yamaha jet ski with Maximillion, 43, right behind...

Bobbi Kristina’s Autopsy Shows No Evidence Of Foul Play

There are no obvious signs someone tried to kill Bobbi Kristina ... this according to the preliminary autopsy results. According to the Fulton County Medical Examiner, the autopsy shows "no obvious underlying cause of death."  The Medical Examiner goes on to say, "no significant injuries were noted." Short story ... this could help Nick Gordon, who has been under the police microscope from the get-go. The report says there were no previously unknown medical conditions that could...

States To Repay Bailout Loans From Allocations

It has been revealed that the bailout package being prepared by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the 36 states of the federation is to be deducted from their statutory allocations. On Monday revealed that some state governors had started visiting the central bank to discuss modalities on how and when the funds would be released. It was gathered that the CBN would release the package to the states as concessionary loans to be repaid over a longer period...

Crude oil falls below $54, threatens Nigeria’s savings

The global benchmark crude oil hit $53.33 per barrel on Monday, threatening the expected accretion to Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account this year. The steep decline in oil prices had forced the National Assembly to settle for $53 per barrel as the oil benchmark price for this year’s budget, down from $65 proposed by the...

Forgery Scandal: Lawan group heads for court again

Senators opposed to the leadership of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, operating on the platform of a group called Senate Unity Forum, on Monday filed a fresh suit at Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking the nullification of the inauguration of the 8th Senate carried out by the management of the National Assembly, on June 9.

Buhari: I won’t make persons who lack integrity ministers

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said he would not make compromised citizens and ‘hostages’ ministers. “We will try as much as possible to avoid appointing hostages; by this, I mean people who have been in the system but compromised their personal and professional integrity, Buhari said on Monday in a live programme, Good Morning Nigeria, on...