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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Some residents of Borno on Monday cautioned the Federal Government against rushing into dialogue with the Boko Haram insurgents as a way of ending their violent campaign. Those who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri on Monday advised government to concentrate on military action against the insurgents. Shieikh Musa Usman, a Maiduguri based Islamic scholar, advised government to equip the military with the necessary weapons to face...

How To Be A Nigerian By Ololade Ajekigbe

Nigerians are a very special breed of people who possess unique qualities that only they could have been blessed with. Today, I will be attempting to help you recognize a full blooded Nigerian when you see one. If you are a Nigerian who has lived mostly in the diaspora, especially if you didn't spend your formative years here, you may not be able to relate with the characteristics I will be highlighting, sorry... but that only suggests...

On The Ball : The Rise Of Dele Alli By Edward Okaro

In this piece, I'll be talking a little bit about the two things I absolutely adore as an avid football/soccer fan: (a)The Barclays Premier League (The most watched league in the world) and (b) My beloved Nigerian National Men’s Football team (or the Super Eagles as they are fondly called) The subject to which these two things are centred around is none other than promising Nigerian born starlet Bamidele ‘Dele’ Alli and I’ll be...

One Minute Extra With Jess : Jess Says Thank You

This episode is to say thank you to everyone for the feedback, corrections and especially to my viewers and subscribers. We are closely coming to the end of the first season of One Minute Extra With Jessica and I look forward to a more informative and entertaining season two.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yMAauCC_AQ&feature=youtu.be

Kidnapped Wife Of Former Bayelsa Acting Governor Regains Freedom

The kidnapped wife of the former acting governor of Bayelsa State, Madam Martha Nestor Binabo, has been released. According to a family source, the 48-year- old woman was handed over to a negotiator at Buguma area of Rivers State in the early hours of Sunday. According to the source, the family adhered to the strict instructions by the kidnappers not to involve the police. She was released with a transport fare of N18,000 and a...

Army Plans More Court-Martial To Fight Indiscipline

The Chief of Army Staff, Kenneth Minimah, on Sunday said that the Nigerian Army would continue to set up court-martial to check indiscipline among troops within its ranks. The Army boss, who made the statement while speaking during the an Interdenominational Church Service to mark the Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2015, NADECL, added that the Army is taking all proactive measures to restore sanity and battle confidence to troops. “I must set up court-martial and...

Cross River State To Host MBGN Pageant In October

Cross River State Government and Silverbird Group have signed a 4-year management contract for the hosting of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN), at the prestigious 5,000 seat capacity Calabar International Convention Centre (CICC). According to the agreement, Calabar will play host to both the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) and the maiden edition of Miss Africa Beauty Pageant owned by the Cross River State Government. Speaking shortly after the signing ceremony at...

Free Man : Delta State Policemen Rescue Pastor From Kidnappers’ Den

A joint team of police operatives from Otu-Jeremi, Ughelli South Local Government Area and NNPC area in Warri have rescued a pastor of a new generation church in Effurun from kidnappers’ den after he had spent some days in captivity. It was gathered that the victim was rescued from a bush along ECN road, Otu-Jeremi following a tip-off. The victim, our correspondent also learnt, was kidnapped by unknown gunmen at about 8:30 pm, along Keme...

Pope Francis Begins South America Trip In Ecuador

Pope Francis has arrived in Ecuador, in his first visit since becoming pope to the Spanish-speaking part of South America, bringing a message of solidarity with the poor in the region, while trying to rally his church amid dwindling numbers. Francis, history’s first South American leader of the Catholic church, arrived in the capital Quito at 19:40 GMT on Sunday for a week-long tour of the continent, which also includes stops in Bolivia and Paraguay.

Suswam Denies Beating Wife In London, Says He’s In Germany

Former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswan, Sunday said he was not arrested in London for wife beating. His lawyer, P.H. Ogbole, who spoke in Abuja yesterday called on friends and family of the former governor to disregard the publications claiming that Suswam was arrested in the United Kingdom for beating up his wife, Yemisi. While threatening to take legal action against those behind the falsehood, Suswam described publication alleging that he beat his wife as...

NEMA Releases Official Report On Jos Bomb Attacks, Contradicts State Govt’s Report

The Director in charge of the North-Central zone of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mohammed Abdulsalam, has put the number of deaths in Sunday night’s bomb attacks on Jos at 44. Mr. Abdulsalam also told journalists via telephone on Monday morning that 48 others were badly injured, and are currently hospitalized in various hospitals in the Plateau state capital. But the Plateau state government insisted that only 18 people died in the incidents, with 18...

Shettima Urges Fleeing Residents Of Attacked Villages To Return Home

Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima has urged fleeing residents of attacked Zabarmari and Hadamari villages to return, as troops will provide protection against any Boko Haram attacks or bombings on the affected farming and herding communities in the state. The governor, while addressing surviving residents of Zabarmari, urged the fleeing villagers trooping to Maiduguri to return to their respective houses. “Since the military have repelled the insurgents from destroying this village, the people should not...

President Buhari To Revisit Unbanning Of Textiles

President Muhammadu Buhari is to revisit the recent decision of the Jonathan Administration which removed the importation of textile products from the list of banned items. A highly placed government official  said the decision by the last administration to remove textile from the list of banned items to be imported into the country was “unconscionable” ?in view of larger implications on the unemployment situation in the country. The official who spoke on condition of anonymity...

Why We Invited Ekweremadu For Questioning- Police

The Nigerian Police Force has given reasons for inviting the deputy president of the senate, Ike Ekweremadu, to its headquarters for questioning. The police explained on its Facebook page that it received a petition from a senator who alleged unauthorized substitution of senate document. It said in line with the policy of the police leadership on evidence gathering, the matter was referred to the Force CID in Abuja for investigation. Following the investigation, a...

Youths Block Highways In Kaduna To Protest Appointment Of Interim Council Chair

There is currently tension in Kaduna as youths, predominantly Gbagyi, blocked the ?major roads leading to Chikun local government area of Kaduna State in protest of the appointment of Hajiya Hadiza Yahuza as interim chairman of the local government. The situation attracted heavy traffic jam? as workers were prevented from accessing the road to their work places. Meanwhile, heavily armed policemen are? presently using tear gas to disperse the angry youths.  About five youths have...

Yero left Kaduna in deficit, says KDSG

The Kaduna State Government has dismissed claims that the former government left over N8 billion in the accounts. Former deputy governor, Mr. Nuhu Audu Bajoga, made the claim  over the weekend. A statement signed by Samuel Aruwan, the Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the governor said the Mukhtar Ramalan Yero government actually left the state in deficit. “The Kaduna State Government had N228,333,371.67 in its central account on 29 May 2015....

Man Pictured Draped In Isis-Like Flag Near Big Ben And Houses Of Parliament In London

Police have confronted a man draped in what appeared to be an Isis flag, as he walked past the Houses of Parliament with a young child on his shoulders waving a miniature version of the parchment. Startling images of the incident shows the man walking past a group of scouts with a black flag around his shoulders as he...

Boko Haram Members Sell Seized Goats To Owners To Raise Money To Buy Petrol

A survivor of Boko Haram attack on a Borno town made a startling revelation that Boko Haram insurgents were selling goats and other livestock seized from owners during se­ries of attacks on the communities to buy pet­rol. Danladi Umar who fled the troubled Kukawa town, north of Borno following the Wednesday Boko Haram at­tack disclosed to Sunday Sun. “They took away our goats, chicken and other livestock after attack on Kukawa and other neighbouring villages. They also...

Photos: Femi Fani-Kayode’s Daughter Weds

The traditional wedding of Temi, the daughter of former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode to her beau, Jaiye Randle, the son of Lagos Chief, Bashorun J.K Randle, took place today July 5th in Lagos. Congrats to them...

What I Told Nicki Minaj When She Broke Up With Safaree – Meek Mill

Meek Mill has opened up on his role in Nicki Minaj's break up with Safaree ...It was reported he was instrumental in their breakup,by setting Safaree up on various occasions .Speaking with Sway of Sirius FM, Meek said all he did was tell her: ‘Do what’s best for you really. I’m not no hater,‘Do what’s best for you. Whatever you feel in your heart.‘Cause I don’t want to be in the middle of something and that ain’t...

‘Negotiate With FG And Stop The Killing’ – Saraki Tells Boko Haram

Senate president,Bukola Saraki has called on Boko Haram to accept president Buhari's offer of negotiation.This comes as it was revealed the FG is ready to negotiate with the insurgents to bring an end to insurgency ..In a statement released by his media office, Saraki condemned the killing of 6 at the Redeemed church in Yobe today...His statement reads My heart is with individuals and families who were directly or indirectly affected by this ungodly, sadistic and evil...

I Did Most Of The Work In The EME Album – Skales Reveals

 Its no news that Skales and Wizkid had a huge social media fight over somethings the former said...Skales had alleged he wrote most of Wizkid's hit songs,he also said Wizkid was avoiding a collaboration with him.. Now,Skales has moved on to a new record label but tells whoever cares to know,he wasn't unproductive during his time at Banky W' led EME records..In a new interview with RubbingMinds today,Skales...

Ashton Kutcher And Mila Kunis Just Got Married

According to People magazine, the stars tied the knot this weekend, reps have not yet responded to requests for comment. There were several rumours they had been married earlier this year but they are finally married now. Kutcher, 37, and Kunis, 31, met while playing love interests on the Fox sitcom, which ran from 1998 to 2006. "My first real kiss ever was with him on the show," she said in W magazine's August issue, adding, "We all get movie star crushes....

Dangote Explains Why He Wants To Buy Arsenal

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, has disclosed his reason for seeking to acquire a stake in English Premier League team, Arsenal. Few weeks ago, Dangote, 58, attracted widespread criticism from various quarters in Nigeria when he re-iterated his interest in acquiring the Premier League team. Many Nigerians called him out, insisting that his money would be better spent by acquiring a local Nigerian football team and promoting the Nigerian Premier League rather than...

See the Moment ISIS Child Killers Brutally Shot Dead 25 Syrian Soldiers In Front Of Bloodthirsty Crowd

ISIS has released a significant new execution video from the historic city of Palmyra, in the Syrian desert. Child executioners are shown in the video being forced to brutally slaughter a group of more than 25 regime soldiers. The video shows the soldiers lined up on their knees on the stage of the Roman amphitheatre, which had formerly been used for an annual festival in the city. A baying crowd of men and boys gathered in the restored...

Graphic Photo From The Jos Bomb Blast At Yan-Taya Mosque Yesterday

This is a photo from the deadly bomb blast that rocked the Yan-Taya mosque in Jos yesterday.  The blast had happened as a sermon on the occasion of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan was going on. Another blast occurred at Bauchi Road, a major thoroughfare in Jos that is also in an area where many Muslim families reside. At least 15 people were killed and 20 others were injured...

Best Foods For Weight Loss & Quick Results

Listed below are a few of the best food categories to promote healthy digestive health. They each have helpful functions to cleanse your body of harmful toxins and promote overall wellness: 1. Foods that are Rich in Fiber You are probably going to notice one recurring theme throughout this article. That theme is the use of healthy dietary fiber. This is an important dietary staple to focus on since our current diets tend to lack...

Ministerial Appointments: Delay Aimed At Assembling Best Hands – Al-Makura

Nasarawa State governor Tanko Al-Makura has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s seeming delay in the appointment of ministers and other key government officials has nothing to do with the leadership crisis rocking the party. He added that it also has nothing to do with insinuations that the president is finding it difficult to take action because he is torn between patronising those who contributed to his victory and those who can really deliver the goods.

PMB Should Address Nigerians On Insurgency – BBOG

Expressing concerns over the resurgence of suicide bombings in the North-East, the #BringBackOurGirls(BBOG) group has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation on the Boko Haram insurgency. Speaking during the group’s sit-out, Aisha Yesufu, noted that Nigerians, especially those affected by the bombings, would want to know government’s efforts towards ending the nightmare that had been terrorizing the nation over the years. According to her, the president's’ silence on the issue was unacceptable,...

Police Arrest Ikorodu Bank Robbers

Four members of the robbery gang that raided two banks in Ikorodu, Lagos State, on 24 June, have been arrested, the police claimed. The gang had robbed First Bank and a new generation at Ogolonto and carted away huge sums of money. The police in Lagos in the aftermath of the public outrage triggered by the robbery and the manner of escape via the Ikorodu lagoon, offered a N5 million reward for information.

Buhari Reacts To Criticisms On Appointing More Northerners

Following criticisms that trailed the appointments made so far by President Muhammadu Buhari which many argued were lopsided in favour of the north, the president, yesterday, dismissed insinuations that he was implementing a northern agenda in his appointments. It will be recalled that President Buhari since taking over the reins of power on May 29 has, so far, made 11 appointments, out of which only one came from the South West. Although some people considered...

USA Women Team Wins World Cup For The Third Time

The female team of USA showed once more they are great by defeating Japan 5-2. Carli Lloyd was the star of the day as she became the first woman to score a hat-trick in world cup final. USA lifts the world cup once again in 16 years, since their last title in 1999.

Ben Affleck Denies He Has Serious Feelings’ For Margot

Fans of 'Bennifer' were left heartbroken earlier this month when Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner called time on their 10 year marriage. And in the days that followed, the rumour mill went into overdrive. The latest claims to plague the 42-year-old actor are reports that he's 'developed serious feelings' for his Suicide Squad co-star Margot Robbie.

Greek Finance Minister Announces Resignation

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned after Greek voters delivered an overwhelming "No" vote in a referendum on whether to accept more austerity measures in return for new bailout cash. In a statement published on his personal blog on Monday, Varoufakis said he was stepping down to allow Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to reach a new deal with European creditors. "Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made...

Nigeria Can’t Be Fixed Overnight – David Umaru

Senator David Umaru representing Niger East Senatorial District in the National Assembly has said that the 16 years of destruction of Nigeria by the former ruling party cannot be fixed in a short period. The senator who spoke over the weekend at a Thanksgiving service organised by the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Shiroro District Church Council (DCC) at Gwada area of the state, called for patience from Nigerians. David Umaru assured that the present...

We Have No Hand In Ekweremadu’s Police Invitation- APC

The All Progressives Congress, APC, has said it has nothing to do with the reported police invitation of Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, over which the PDP has released an “outlandish” statement containing all sorts of imaginary claims. In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said it neither wrote a petition to the police nor is it aware that any petition was written against the Deputy Senate...

Fraudsters Alert: Chibok Girls’ Parents Warn Nigerians

The parents of the abducted female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno, on Sunday alerted the public on the activities of some fraudsters using their names to defraud Nigerians and corporate bodies. Yakubu Maina, the chairman of the association of parents of the abducted girls, raised the alert at a news conference in Maiduguri. “We wish to alert Nigerians and corporate organisations on the existence of some individuals and organisations masquerading as parents of...

APC Southwest Chairmen Vow To Never Acknowledge Saraki, Dogara

Chairmen of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the Southwest have vowed not to recognize the emergence of Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara until the crisis revolving around the National Assembly contest is sufficiently resolved by the party. Chairman of the Ekiti State chapter of the party, Chief Jide Awe disclosed this yesterday as his counterpart in Oyo State, Chief Akin Oke insisted that the two presiding officers of the...

Hundreds Defect From PDP To APC In Kogi

It was celebration galore in Onyedega, headquarters of Ibaji local government in Kogi State, as thousands of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in the local government defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). The leader of the decampees, Engineer John Ibrahim Ocheje, who led all the 10 former councillors, PDP ward chairmen and their supporters to the venue of their defection at Onyedega, said that the decision of the people to dump PDP for APC...