A new report by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has revealed that crude oil-bearing states located in the south-south region of Nigeria earned N9.53 trillion as their share of revenue from oil revenue between 2000 and 2018.Notwithstanding, four of the states are said to be among top indebted states in the country.
The states according to NEITI’s recent ‘Occasional Paper’ which examined the perception of communities on the 13 per cent oil derivation income to them included Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Rivers.
Cross River has ceased to be an oil-bearing state but was amongst the states in the region which earned N9.53 trillion over the 18-year period.
According to the NEITI research, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states received N1.60 trillion, N1.20 trillion, N1.38 trillion and N1.54 trillion, respectively from 2001 to 2018 and are classified as the top four subnational oil producers and revenue earners in Nigeria.
Despite earning so much, the NEITI report noted that four of the states are also among the highest indebted states in the country.
It explained that: “As at September 2019, Debt Management Office (DMO) puts Akwa Ibom’s debt profile at N237.4 billion, Bayelsa at N127.2 billion, Delta at N230.57 billion and Rivers at N266.9 billion,” adding that figures showed that the 13 per cent oil derivation fund allocated to Niger Delta states from 2000-2018, and the debt profile of all subnational governments and the Federal Capital Territory reveal the antinomy of the affluence and the affliction of oil wealth in the region.
The report stated that community folks in the states were unsatisfied with the application of oil revenue by their governments, adding that, “it is obvious that aside Ondo, Abia and Edo (in that order), the debt profile of all the oil producing states in the Niger Delta hovers in 12 digits.”
“Ondo State’s debt overhang as of September 2019 stood at N56.4 billion, despite earning N272.88 billion as 13 per cent oil derivation revenue from 2001-2018. Within the same period, Imo State earned a total of N623.1 billion – with N83.29 billion as 13 per cent derivation fund; however, the state owes N148.9 billion; while Edo State earned N114.3 billion during the 18 years, but presented a debt profile of N83.1 as at September 2019,” it further said.
The NEITI stated that this reality, added to the deepening social and environmental consequences of extraction, “has turned the Niger Delta into an epicentre of unmatched contradictions.”