Governors’ Embarrassing Fiscal Profligacy

A recent report that indicates that no fewer than 30 state governments of the federation spent N986.64billion on recurrent expenditures, including refreshments, sitting allowances, travelling, utilities, among others, in the first three months of 2024, has shown that the governors are not making sacrifices to reflect the current economic realities.

The states’ budget implementation reports, which were obtained from Open Nigerian States, a website supported by BudgIT, examined budget implementation data from 30 states.

A breakdown showed that the 30 state governments spent N5.1billion on refreshments for guests, N4.67billion on sitting allowances to government officials, N34.63billion on local and foreign travel expenses, and N5.64billion on utility bills, amounting to N50.02billion in the first three months of 2024.

The sub-nationals also paid N405.77billion as salaries to their workers.

Other recurrent spending items covered in the report included the amount spent on foreign and domestic travel, Internet access fees, entertainment, foodstuff, honorarium/sitting allowance, wardrobe allowances, telephone bills, electricity charges, stationery, anniversaries/special days, welfare, aircraft maintenance, and more.

The humongous expenditure simply shows how reckless and profligate some state governments are.

When some of the governors were campaigning for their various seats, they bandied lofty developmental and infrastructural facilities but as soon as they came to power, they are preoccupied with how to make lives comfortable for themselves and their families.

The fact that many of the governors claimed that they can’t afford to pay N30,000 minimum wage but spend millions of naira on frivolous expenditures speaks volumes.

While the eyes of the majority of Nigerians are focused on the federal government, the state governors live like emperors that cannot be questioned.

The report of the profligacy of some states is evidence of the absence of autonomous entities that can hold leaders accountable.

Even worse is fact that the profligacy is coming when the governments at all levels are asking the citizens to endure the pains of their policies.

The same state governors, which have been making headlines since May 29, 2023, on how their predecessors ruined the economies of their states are determined to break the records of their predecessors with reckless expenditures.

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