Monthly revenue allocation: The Kwara State checklist

February 25, 2016
2 mins read

EARLY this week, the monthly revenue allocated to each state of the federation, for December 2015, and shared  in January 2016, was published by the Federal Government. The regular publication of these allocations is one of the great gains of our democratic experience since 1999.

At least citizens can tabulate exactly what accrues to our states on a monthly basis and then match these with development on ground. This issue of allocations, especially their drop in recent months, has been central to the narrative of financial difficulties in Kwara state, for example. The government regularly asserts that allocation has dropped from about N3.5billion per month to about N1.4billion.

Well, there is some good news in respect of the sums shared in January 2016. Kwara state’s 16 LGAs got a total of N1, 627, 118, 514.16, from the Federation Account. As for the Kwara state government, its Gross Total Sum from the Federation Account in the same January distribution of December Allocation was N2, 549, 647, 979. 48 and the Net Total sum was N2, 055, 320, 700. 54. This means that in January 2106, Kwara state has taken the sum of over N3.6billion from the Federation Account.

Of course that is a lot of money! But the downside to the allocations coming to Kwara state is the pattern of expenditure. Are they patterns that represent the best interests of our people? That is a question that will generate a lot of heat. But what is not in doubt is that the group in power in Kwara state, since 2003, has consistently taken decisions that served the personal interests of the hegemon and his crowd of hangers-on, than those of our people.

Huge monthly  pension

For instance, from the allocation we are talking about, the government will still pay the huge sums (allegedly running into millions)  as Bukola Saraki’s monthly pension! And despite the huge sums received on behalf of the sixteen local government areas of Kwara state, these local governments are no loci of development today.

Salaries are owed for months, and even within metropolitan areas of Ilorin, Offa, Omu Aran and others, there is an absence of municipal governance: refuse has overtaken many urban areas, including even major streets in Ilorin; while economic activities that used to revolve around local government secretariats in the past have disappeared in Kwara.

What is clear is that the problem sometimes isn’t the absence of money alone, but the deliberate enthronement of a control system which alienates the resources of the state to satisfy the personal ends of a structure of political leadership, such as Kwara has been saddled with since 2003.

Unless and until Kwara state dismantles a political and spoils system that is tied to a  suffocating bear hug and personality cult, it will not find the levels of development commensurate with the potentials of our people and state.

The reason is simple; as Kwara state is run today, the most central political project is Bukola  Saraki’s personal survival and personal ambitions. Where his ambitions clash with those of the state, then the interests of the state suffer.

This is because at all times, it is what satisfies  Bukola Saraki’s interests and ambitions that they prioritise in Kwara state. This is not how a rational community or state ought to be run. Kwarans agonise a lot about this structure, especially the more self-respecting and politically conscious sections of the elite.

The task that faces the bona fide citizens of Kwara state is to organise to uproot this structure of domination; hegemony that has set us back and deepened underdevelopment, since Bukola Saraki’s emergence in 2003.

It is only when we have reclaimed our state, that monthly allocations from the Federation Account can be meaningfully and transparently applied to serve the best interests of the people of Kwara state!

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