By Onitsha Shedrack,
Delta State has been ranked as the second most indebted state in the country, with a current debt profile standing at N331.95 billion as against N142.28 of its revenue, according to report.
This was made known by Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, the Director, Communications of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, Presidency, Abuja, in the latest Quarterly Review of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) by NEITI.
According the report that place Delta second, next with Lagos State with a debt of N603.25 billion of all Nigerian states in 2016, as against its revenue of N410.5billion.
The report, which is the third in the series by NEITI, examined the breakdown and analysis of disbursements from the federation account to the three tiers of government.
Osun and Akwa Ibom states took the third and fourth place on rising debt with N165.91 billion and N161.23billion.
According to the report, Yobe and Anambra stood out clearly as states with the least debt burden, while Yobe was indebted to the tune of N11.74billion.
Anambra owed N20.60billion, according to NEITI-FACC report.
NEITI said the debt burden of Delta, Osun and Cross River states raised major concerns giving the fact that their total borrowings were found to be more than double the total revenues accruing to them.
NEITI maintained that “considering that most states already have a high debt burden, the possibility of even higher debts for the states remain quite high.”
The report, however, projected that government revenues would increase following upward movement in global oil prices.
‘’Oil production which was down from January to August 2016, has started rising.”
The report noted that there had been a gradual rise in oil prices from 30.70 dollars per barrel in 2016 to 54.58 dollars per barrel in January 2017.
It added that If this trend continued, government revenue would likely increase and would improve the ability of both Federal and State governments to fund their budgets.