*Nigeria: Obi Wins Legend of True Leadership Award
Masterweb Reports - Wednesday, October 3, 2012: Gov. Obi was today bestowed with the Legend of True Leadership Award by the National Association of Nigerian Student Nurses and Midwives.
Speaking during the ceremony that took place at Our Lady of Lourdes School of Nursing and Midwifery yesterday, the National President of the association, Comrade Dauda Ahmed said the award was in recognition of his unmatchable efforts and contributions towards the provision of infrastructure in schools of Nursing and Midwifery in the State, both Government and missionary owned.
He said that apart from support to rebuilding of hospitals and the building of a brand new Teaching Hospital for the State, that the Governor had built or was building over 25 buildings in different schools of Nursing and Midwifery in the State. He named some of them as : School of Nursing and Midwifery, Nkpor; school of Nursing and Midwifery, St Joseph Hospital, Adazi- Nnukwu; Nursing and Midwifery, Iyienu; Nursing and Midwifery, Waterside, Onitsha; Nursing and Midwifery at our Lady of Lourdes, Ihiala, among others. "as a result of all these assistance, these schools that all lost accreditation have all regained that", he said. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Gov. Peter Obi (right), receiving the Legend of True Leadership Award from the National President of National Association of Nigerian Student Nurses and Midwives.
In his remarks, the Catholic Bishop of Nnewi, Most Rev. Hilary Okeke said he was overwhelmed by Obi's exemplary approach to leadership and called on others in positions of leadership to emulate him. "In him I have seen one Nigerian leader that is not interested in himself. He thinks daily about the good of the people and that is demonstrated in what he does", the Bishop said.
Continuing, the Bishop said that Anambra State was experiencing gigantic development under Gov. Obi in all sectors, private and public. "Even beyond Nigeria, he thinks about humanity. Soon after the earthquake at Haiti in 2010, he travelled to the country, came back, rallied his friends and raised $200,000 dollars, which he sent to them recently. His live is an inspiring example of how to live the Gospel in public service".
In her own speech, the Principal of the School, Rev Sr. Dr. Lauretta Nkem Madu said the Governor richly deserved the award for introducing credibility and character in governance. He described the Governor as a model that champion every right course towards restoring sanity to Nigerian politics.
Describing him as "The gift of our time", he prayed to God to give Nigeria leaders as humane and compassionate as the Governor. He revealed that he had committed over two hundred and fifty million Naira to their school as he has done for other schools.
Responding, the Governor said that he saw the award as a challenge to do better.
Highlights of the event was the receipt of the award, the presentation of the cheque of additional N20 Million Naira to the school for ongoing projects and the laying of the foundation for the building for the School of Medical Laboratory.
*Taxation As Citizens Obligation In Nigeria
By Mark Hirnyam
For patriots like me, paying taxes gives a feeling of responsibility, of being part of the fabric of our country, of contributing to the common good. -Joyce Marcel, 2006
Many times we hear people say things like, “it is our money or tax payer’s money”. Yes public fund is our money, only because we are citizens of Nigeria and Nigeria is blessed with oil through which the revenue is generated. But like Joyce Marcel, how have we made efforts to contribute to the common good of our society?
Citizens and government have basic obligations towards the society for development and stability. While it is the duty of the government to provide infrastructures, security, shelter and other basic amenities for sustainable development, the citizens have the obligation to support government in many ways, one of which is the payment of taxes. Therefore, one of the ways of contributing to the common good of the society is for citizens to exercise their obligation as tax payers. Taxes are used to pool resources for public health and safety, infrastructure, research, schools, transportation, courts, funding the police and providing parks and safe drinking water, amongst others. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Nigerian Naira Notes
Tax as defined by Wikipedia is a pecuniary burden laid upon individuals or property owners to support the government, a payment exacted by legislative authority. A tax is not a voluntary payment or donation, but an enforced contribution, exacted pursuant to legislative authority and comprises any contribution imposed by government whether under the name of toll, tribute, duty, custom, excise, subsidy, aid, supply, or by any other name. It is the duty of an individual or entity to pay tax as an enforced contribution to government. Thus, tax obligation simply shows how much tax is owed; by the amount of tax that a person, business, or organization owes.
Taxes are obviously regarded as a germane source of revenue in many countries, although a tax may be levied other than reasons of revenue generation depending on the motive of government regarding the economy. Governments use different kinds of taxes and vary the tax rates in order to distribute the tax burden among individuals or entities. A country's tax system is supposedly a reflection of its communal values and/or the values of those in power. Therefore to create a tax system, a country must identify a proper distribution of the tax burden i.e. who will pay taxes, how much they will pay and how the taxes collected will be spent. In democratic nations where those in charge of establishing the tax system are elected by the public, these choices reflect the type of community that the public and/or government wish to create. In countries where the public does not have a significant amount of influence over the system of taxation, that system may be more of a reflection on the values of those in power.
In Nigeria, the tax system dates back to 1904 when the personal income tax was introduced in northern Nigeria. Since then, different governments have continued to modify the tax system to make it effective in Nigeria. The tax law in Nigeria is purely statutory. The system offers a wide range of statutes, some of which include, Personal Income Tax Act, Companies Income Tax Act, Education Tax Act, Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act, Mineral & Mining Act, Petroleum Profits Tax Act, Value Added Tax Act, Sales Tax Laws, Customs and Excise Management Act, Stamp Duties Act as well as the Land Use Act. Generally, the tax system in Nigeria features a combination of direct and indirect taxes and all individuals and entities that earn income, profits or gains have the obligation to pay tax. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities, including the Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
The tax system as provided in Decree No. 21, of 1998 (now an Act of the National Assembly) comprises of at least 39 taxes, levies and fees, including 8 Federal, 11 State and 20 Local Government taxes and levies as specified in the Taxes and Levies. The institutions responsible for tax administration in Nigeria include the Federal Inland Revenue Service, State Inland Revenue Service and the Local Government Revenue Committee respectively for the three tiers of government in Nigeria.
Given the above statues and having developed a tax system in Nigeria, we are all obliged to fulfil our tax responsibility. It is only natural to hope that contribution of tax to revenue in Nigeria is meaningful. Tax obligation includes all activities necessary to be carried out by the tax-paying public in order to meet the statutory requirements of tax law. There are four (4) broad categories of obligations likely to exist for all tax payers irrespective of their jurisdiction. These are:
• registration in the system
• timely filling or lodgement of requisite taxation information
• reporting of complete and accurate information (incorporating good record keeping); and
• payment of taxation obligations on time
In many societies, citizens do not need to be reminded to pay tax as the tax system is such that it forms basic part of citizen’s responsibilities on weekly or monthly basis as the case is in the United Kingdom, United States and Germany for example. In such societies tax payment is performed voluntarily. This is what Rasaq K. O. calls Voluntary Tax Compliance which is a tax system based on taxpayers complying with tax laws without being compelled by the tax authority to do so. Under this system taxpayers are expected to report their income, calculate their tax liability and file a tax return. In Nigeria such a concept may be seen to be alien to the people because of the manner of tax awareness and its effectiveness. Besides, the ambiguity of tax officials also affects adversely the value of tax and its contribution as well as the reason for taxation.
Infact, Nigeria is a complex case. Apart from the fact that tax awareness is low and perhaps limited to people who have need for tax clearance certificates, the basic challenge is the fact that Nigeria has not developed a functional and effective system where citizens could see taxation as part of their monthly obligations to government which if not fulfilled will make it impossible to seek attention from government. In developing and developed societies where the tax system is effective, citizens know that to pay tax is important and forms part of their obligations and through which they can challenge government on its performance on development. In our case here in Nigeria, tax is a source of enrichment to tax officials who exploit the citizens in various capacities and still pose as people helping government to succeed. This writer has on some occasions visited the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) branches in Abuja. On those occasions taxes were negotiated in such a manner that the taxpayer is allowed to pay a certain amount of money to government as basic assessment of his income or business whereas a certain amount is paid to the assessor (tax official). If for example the tax payer is to pay N200, 000, the tax official will request N80, 000 for himself/herself and remit N70, 000 to government. In that case, the taxpayer should have saved N50, 000 out of the money he/she ought to pay. Many Nigerians happily do this, just as the tax officials see nothing wrong with such acts. Yet the FIRS will come up with various slogans such as “PIN Number” etc to give the impression that the institution is working hard. One begins to wonder how many people – institutions and prominent citizens have been prosecuted for evading tax or for manipulating the system. How many staff of the FIRS have been prosecuted or sacked for manipulating the tax system.
The question one cannot fail to ask is, why is it difficult for the FIRS to come up with a tax system where there will be a common formula worked out in such a manner that citizens at all levels and categories of businesses know how much they are to pay to government monthly or annually as the case may be. For example, if motorists, plumbers or electricians are categorized as artisans and have a certain rate as tax per annum on their income published in FIRS newsletters/bulletins or on the internet, such a plumber, motorist, electrician or artisan knows what and how much he is to remit as tax per annum. Why should a citizen be the one to go to FIRS to discuss how much he earns before he is assessed to know how much he will pay as tax? This system shows a tax institution or government that is short of its responsibilities. It is because many Nigerians know that their taxes go to private pockets that make many people not to show interest in tax payment. Government has so much work to do to strengthen the tax system in Nigeria.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) had announced a drop of N124 billion in its tax revenue collection in the first quarter of 2009 - from N477 billion to N353 billion. Having in mind that Nigeria’s budget for 2009 was N3.049tr, if we take N353b as tax revenue for one quarter and we multiply it by four quarters in a year, we imagine tax revenue of approximately N1.4tr in a year. That is close to half of the year’s budget. We can only envisage what it would be if the system was better. The pertinent questions that arise at this point include, where and what is this tax revenue used for? Why do we keep experiencing budget deficits and evolving supplementary budgets year in year out? Is the Nigerian quest for diversifying sources of revenue for funding the budget undermining the tax sector? This and many more will continue to nudge but elude our minds. Comparatively, countries like the United Kingdom who do no not have natural resources as well as sources of revenue, rely heavily on revenue from tax to provide services to the people. We will all agree that in this country, goods and services are effectively provided. In fact one of the easiest ways to go to jail in developed nations is to evade tax.
Recently, Lagos state took a cue from the United Kingdom as the state government considering the nature and values of its people has fared better in generating internal revenue for the state. Many Lagosians today voluntarily go to pay their taxes because they have seen that government has a system where the taxes get to government and the government uses the money to provide services. In order to check the exigencies that accompany the tax system in Nigeria, the Lagos state government first of all developed an electronic tax payment and collection (lodgement) scheme suitable for an effective tax system. It is an information network system that links Tax Stations & other Revenue Agencies to lodgement banks. The advantages include increasing the internally generated revenue base of Lagos State, providing easy administration, monitoring and co-ordination of all revenue activities in the state as well as assisting to identify fraudulent debit, diversion of funds and excess charges on the state accounts. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, Nigeria
Having noticed the popular informal sector of the society, government in this state took the advantage of proper awareness, carrying along representatives of business organizations who take time to pass on tax education to their members. Members of the association are now paying a small amount of tax to the government on a monthly basis. Although it is not much, often just N2, 500 (approximately $16), for many it is the first time in their lives that they have paid any formal tax. Since then, Lagos state has recorded a substantial increase in tax revenue. According to the Governor of the state, Babatunde Fashola, the state's internal generated revenue grew from N600 million monthly to N14 billion monthly since 1999. That is more than double what the state typically receives from the Federation Accounts and is gained from the formal sector.
It is pertinent to note at this point that tax revenue in Nigeria can only be substantial if the tax system promotes an atmosphere of trust, sustained public education, transparency and accountability in governance, enforcement of rules and regulations among the tax officials at all levels, and the provision of dividends of democracy to the people. As citizens of Nigeria it behoves on us to ensure participation in government by paying our taxes and filing our tax returns periodically. This will help reduce the current voter apathy evident in the country, since a contribution to public revenue would induce individuals to pry into the workings of government and allow them to be conscious of those who are going to be elected and made responsible for expending tax contributed revenue.
Consequent upon the above, the National Assembly has the task to evolve and sustain a tax policy and system that guarantee a transparent and effective tax process. The relevant Legislative Committee responsible for oversight on tax authorities must ensure through proper oversight that government is not robbed of its revenue through corrupt tax officials. The Lagos state tax system may serve as a point of reference in eliminating bottlenecks in the tax process through an e-system. Above all, the passage into law of the Freedom of Information bill has now come as a boost in ensuring a transparent and vibrant tax system. It is only when we pay our taxes that we position ourselves better to hold government accountable. But the system of tax payment must be streamlined, strengthened and guarded with strong legislation and regulations to reduce the level of corrupt officials in tax offices nationwide in order to engender confidence of the Nigerian people in the payment of tax. People especially those in business who collaborate with tax officials to manipulate their taxes should be publicly prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others. With a population of over 150 million people, Nigeria can survive with revenue from taxes even without oil revenue. All we need is strong legislation and enforcement.
*Nigerian Man Arrested For Having Sex With Donkey
Masterweb Reports - Tuesday, October 2, 2012: Luck ran out for a middle-aged Nigerian man who committed bestial act as the owner of the animal allegedly observed him having sex with the animal. It all happened in Umuhu, Eha-Amufu in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State asAnayochukwu Okarih who hails from Umujovu, Eha-Amufu walked a donkeybelonging to Mrs Nnedi Moses to a vacant slaughter house in Umuhu. Unknown to him, Moses trailed him and raised alarm when she observed him fondling his manhood and raping the donkey. Okarih left the scene naked as the owner raised alarm, but was picked up by a mob who handed him over to the Ikem Divisional Police Station where he was detained and interrogated. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: A donkey
Ebere Amarizu, Police Public Relations Officer said Okarih confessed to the crime and asked for forgiveness for reason of poor mental health. Moses said she suspected Okarih contracted HIV and was trying to spread it to anything on his path.
Bestiality is commonly misspelled as "beastiality". It is animal-like behavior or sexual act between man and animal. Examples of bestiality is a person running wild and screaming like an animal and a person engaging in sexual act with an animal. Some see sexual intercourse with animals as rape. Stephanie LaFarge, an assistant professor of psychiatry at New Jersey Medical School, and Director of Counseling at American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), wrote distinguishing two groups: bestialists, who rape or abuse animals, and zoophiles, who form emotional and sexual attachment to animals. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities including Enugu State, and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
Sex with animals is not outlawed in some countries, but it is however not explicitly condoned by the general public. In most countries, bestiality is illegal under animal abuse and/or crimes against nature laws.
*On Rabiu Kwankwaso's Rant And Ethnic Chauvinism
By Chuks Ibegbu
It is always good for the wind to blow so as to know the mindset of people. The governor of Kano State, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso has shown the kind of bigoted mindset characteristic of most sectional Nigerian politicians like him. He has shown that the illusion of 'BORN TO RULE' is still beclouding him and his types.
His uncharitable attack against Senator Ike Ekweremadu and the South East has revealed how deeply unjust and bigoted some elements in the corridors of power can create perpetual rumpus in the polity. I believe that Kwankwaso spoke the mind of a group hiding under him.
Now let us dissect the import of his outburst. Firstly, he claimed that Kano State deserves three more states and is more populated than any other state in Nigeria. Secondly, he asserted that South East does not deserve the extra state the National Confab of 2005 granted her before the third term saga enervated it . He also claimed, as if an expert in demographic issues, that South East does not have the population to make such clamour. Finally, he adumbrated that his state and the North have such expanse of land that they deserve even more states than they presently have. I will take each claim one by one. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State
The claim that Kano State deserves three more states and is more populated than other states in Nigeria is laughable. There is yet to be any credible population census in Nigeria to justify that claim. But for the unjust exercise in state and local government creation by past military juntas that principally came from his side of the country, most enclaves that call themselves states and local governments in the North would not have qualified to be created in the first place.. Until there is a credible census in Nigeria, Kwankwaso's bogus claim that Kano State is more populated than other states in Nigeria and his risible demand for more states from Kano, will remain an exercise in mere conjecture.
In fact Kwankwaso should rather shut up and continue enjoying for now the product of the structural injustice and falsification and impunity by past military juntas. He is a beneficiary of high level impunity and social injustice and instead of keeping quiet and continuing enjoying such undeserved privilege, at least for now, Kwankwaso is provocatively annoying the victims of the long years of injustice by elements from his area.
He also asserted that South East has no population to justify the demand for an extra state. I sympathize with Kwankwaso on his myopic view. In fact I do not blame him for this disjointed view. Is Kwankwaso so insular as to know that people in arid areas are less populated than people from rain forest belt. Is he not aware from his social study and geography books that South East has the highest population density in Africa. Landmass is not the criteria for population density, else Sudan, Mali, Niger, Chad, Zaire, etc. would have been the most populated countries in the world. Is he not aware that in all states in Nigeria, Igbos form the single largest ethnic group after the indigenes of the state. It is now known why people like Kwankwaso have been stridently against the inclusion of ethnicity and religion in past census data in the country. They keep on basking on bogus and false population figures and use such in making false claims to our national patrimony which they largely contribute nothing to. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states (all created by military juntas) and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)-also created by a military junta.
For long they have used this deceit to cheat other parts of the country and because the senate and National Assembly now want to address this issue, people like Kwankwaso ae crying blue murder. Does he know the untold suffering of the people of South East because of structural marginalization since the end of the civil war? Has he ever stepped into any Igbo town to know the depth of population density there-in? Does he not know that even more than half of the population he claims come from Kano State are actually foreigners. By the way why is it that each time national issues that will make this country just and equitable are raised, irredentists like Kwankwaso will begin to shudder and play ethnic cards. What do people like him benefit from social injustice.
Why do people like Kwankwaso claim to be champions of the North when the same people he claims to be protecting are being wiped off in Jos, Benue, Taraba and other middle belt states. Who is fooling who? Is Kwankwaso truly speaking for the Gwari and Southern Kaduna people who are at the receiving end of the terrorism unleashed regularly by people that largely come from Kwankwaso's area. Let him know that the era of a Monolithic North for which people like him used to hoodwink innocent Middle Beltans is gone for good and forever. Middle Beltans are wiser today.
Rather than Kwankwaso spending all his energy to pillory a just move by progressive Nigerians to correct the injustices of the past, he should spend his time proffering solution to the Boko Haram tragedy that have held his Kano State and other parts of the North and Nigeria in quandary for the past few years. Nigerians have already agreed that South East needs at least one more state to put it at par with other zones. That it has not even been implemented till now is a greater injustice to them. Senator Ike Ekweremadu and the National Assembly should go on and do the right thing notwithstanding the antics of people like Rabiu Kwankwaso.
A social analyst and writer on national and international issues. He wrote from Enugu.
*At 52 Nigeria Celebrates, Wobbles & Fumbles With Huge Debts, Corruption, Etc.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Finance Minister & Coordinating Minister of Economy
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Secretariat Complex
Dear Coordinating Minister of Economy,
Nigeria Desperately Needs Another Iweala Magic As She Celebrates Huge Public Debts Of Approximately $100Billion (N15trillion), Outrageous Recurrent Expenditures, Corruption And Under-development At 52: A Document For Records & Socio-economic Revolution
Above subject matter refers.
(Onitsha-Nigeria, 1st October 2012)-On 3rd of September 2012, the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, Onitsha, Nigeria, released the first part of this topic; titled: How Nigeria’s Trillions & $44Billion Public Debts Are Pocketed By Her 17,500 Top Public Officers And Criminals (ref: intersociety-ng.org).
The summary of this topic, which is a follow up to the first topic is that Nigeria, again, is a leading global indebted country and has gone back to the highly indebted poor country status (HIPC) which she exited via “Iweala Magic” in 2006; that the country’s current total public debts are approximated at $100billion or N15.5trillion; that by the end of the 2013 fiscal year, the country’s federal civilian governments would have made total budgets of N37.665trillion or $240billion from 1999, a period of fourteen years, out of which N21.7trillion would have gone for recurrent, N4.5trillion or $28billion for domestic and foreign debts servicing (excluding $12billion paid to liquidate $18billion foreign debts in 2006) and N11.3trillion for capital development; that Nigeria runs one of the most expensive public governances in the world far beyond her financial limits; that Nigeria borrows hugely and fraudulently too, to offset her huge overhead costs and service the country’s 17,500 top public officers and their approximately 24,165 inferior subordinates, thereby starving and impoverishing her approximately 160million citizens; that cabalistic criminals still dominate Nigeria’s public affairs; that corruption and social deprivations are entrenched and customized in the country’s polity; that Nigeria’s public wealth is controlled by less than one percent of the population; that approximately 60 million employable Nigerians including over 25 million higher education graduates are unemployed; that the state of public infrastructures including critical infrastructures in Nigeria is shockingly horrible; over 90% of the huge public spendings on personnel costs goes into the payment of allowances; that public governance in Nigeria has become a private enterprise with profit maximization as the end-product; that Nigeria has disastrously maintained a steady culture of budget deficit in place of balanced or surplus budget since 1999; that the last time Nigeria recorded a budget surplus was in 1997 under Abacha’s maximum rulership when N37billion was returned as surplus; and that Nigeria spends an average of 11.5% of her total federal revenues annually in domestic and foreign debts servicing, with the said debts remaining alarmingly high at all times.
In the first part of this topic, the $44billion debts figure quoted was solely obtained from the official website of the Nigeria’s Debt Management Office. But our further investigations have revealed that the totality of public debts in Nigeria is much higher than the figures given by the DMO. Besides, the DMO has updated its records on public debts in Nigeria as at end of June 2012, from end of March 2012. Also, the DMO’s public debts records grossly omitted other versions of public debts in Nigeria. For example, its records did not include the domestic debts profiles of the 36 States, the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja and the 774 LGAs (local government areas), which can “borrow and lend” for public interests under the law. The records also did not include court judgment debts owed by the Federal and State governments and their MDAs, arrears owed contractors at Federal and States’ levels on jobs certified “done and completed”. The arrears owed serving and retired public workforce by Nigeria’s three tiers of government was not included in the DMO’s calculations. Contestably, informed independent sources strongly believe that the local and foreign debts figures disclosed by the DMO as Nigeria’s total public debts are grossly under-quoted. In other words, the actual figures are higher than the quoted.
For instance, the CIA World Fact Book 2012, one of the world’s most credible sources of information believes that Nigeria’s total foreign debts, as at December 31st 2011 was $12.06billion. This excludes the foreign borrowings of 2012. It also states that Nigeria generated $24.54billion (N3.63 trillion) in 2011 and spent $32.65billion (N4.9trillion), leaving a whopping deficit of $8.1billion (N1.24trillion). The Newswatch Magazine of June 15, 2012 similarly quoted informed independent sources as insisting that the Nigeria’s total domestic debts stock should be in the region of N9.1trillion if the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON’s bond of N3trillion and the DMO’S bonds issued in the months of April and May 2012 were included. The Federal Government of Nigeria, according to the respected Magazine, has also concluded arrangements to borrow in the next three years a total of $7.9billion (N1.2trillion). The loan, said to attract 2.5% interest, will be borrowed from World Bank, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Agence Franciase de Development and Exim Bank of China. Out of this huge sum, $3billion (N465billion) is be borrowed from China. Already, $1.1billion (N170billion) has been secured from the Exim Bank of China. Another whopping sum of about $1billion loan has been secured from external sources including the Eurobond of $500million and another $370million reportedly secured from the Islamic Development Bank, with an outstanding balance of $600million to be taken from the same bank before the end of this fiscal year (Newswatch June 2012).
Further, according to the Debt Management Office, Nigeria’s total domestic debts as at 30th day of June 2012 stood at N6.15trillion, from N5.96trillion ($38.3billion) in March 2012, while the country’s total foreign debts within the period stood at $6.035billion from $5.9billion in March 2012. In other words, Nigeria’s domestic debts increased to N190billion while foreign debts recorded an increase of $135million within three months (April to June 2012). But the foregoing may most likely not be the true picture of Nigeria’s domestic and foreign debts profile even as at June 2012. Apart from domestic and foreign borrowings that took place between July and September 2012 and those to be borrowed before the end of the current fiscal year, informed independent sources including the CIA World Fact Book 2012 strongly believe that Nigeria’s domestic and foreign debts are much higher than figures given by the DMO. For instance, in 2005, Nigeria’s foreign debts were $36billion, out of which $30billion was liquidated leaving the balance of $6billion. Between 2007 and 2011, Nigeria has borrowed externally over $6billion, bringing the total to over $12billion. And between December 2011 and September 2012, Nigeria borrowed extra $3billion, thereby bringing the current total foreign debts of Nigeria to over $15billion (N2.3trillion).
Nigeria’s total domestic public debts are also wrongly calculated. For instance, apart from N9.1trillion believed by informed independent sources to be the actual total figure of domestic debts in Nigeria, other legitimate versions of domestic public debts are utterly excluded in the calculations. At the Federal level alone, approximately N1trillion is owed by the Federal Government and its MDAs to contractors, suppliers, consultants, etc on jobs certified done and completed. For instance, N88.38billion is owed as “judgment debts” by the Federal Government and its MDAs (Daily Trust Newspaper September 12, 2012). The Power Holding Company of Nigeria owes its contractors, suppliers and consultants a whopping sum of N400billion (Punch June 1, 2012). The Nigeria Police Force owed its contractors N7.4billion since 2008 and 2009. The contractors in the public construction sector are owed over N100billion by the Federal Government for jobs done and completed (This Day August 18, 2012), out of which the Federal Ministry of Works owes N60billion. Over N1trillion is still owed the serving and retired federal civil servants in Nigeria.
At the level of the 36 States of Nigeria, which substantially control the 774 LGAs in the country, over N3trillion debts may have arisen from reckless domestic borrowings, judgment debts and arrears owed contractors, suppliers, consultants, and serving and retired workforce. It is widely believed that an average of N50billion is domestically owed by every State in Nigeria including the FCT, Abuja. For instance, between 2011 and 2012, between N20billion and N50billion bond had been floated by many States in the local capital markets. Rivers and Delta States reportedly floated N100 billion each from local capital markets. Also Cross Rivers State maintains a domestic debt of N80billion; Akwa Ibom State obtained a bond of N50billion excluding other inherited domestic debts. Rivers State confirmed it only borrowed N30billion in October 2010 and another N20billion in July 2011. Ekiti and Osun States borrowed N20billion each within the said period (Punch August 9, 2012). Imo State owed over N100billion locally as at May 2011(Okorocha 2011). Also, Abia State owes approximately N100billion, out of which N29billion was inherited from the former regime of Orji Uzor Kalu(T.A. Orji 2010); and Bayelsa State owes locally a whopping sum of N207billion (Punch, August 9, 2012).
While Anambra State’s current foreign debt is $25.3million (N3.8billion), its domestic debts profile including arrears owed serving and retired workforce of some State parastatals such as Anambra State Broadcasting Service, Anambra State Water Corporation, Anambra State Newspaper Company, publishers of the National Light Newspaper, etc run into billions of naira as at September 2012. Though the State is one of the least locally and externally indebted States in Nigeria, its current local loan profile is largely shrouded in secrecy. Before the 2006 external debt forgiveness ably spearheaded by you, Madam Coordinating Minister of Economy, Anambra’s domestic and foreign debts stocks were over N40billion. These included $120milliom foreign debt and over N25billion local debt; out of which over N8billion was owed pensioners and serving workforce. Also part of the two sets of loan was the 2001 N2.9billion local bond for “Sir Louis Ojukwu Industrial Estate Project” (abandoned), a $10million loan for “Oba International Market Project” (abandoned) and an N650million loan for “Awka Stadium Project” (abandoned). While the $120million external loan has been brought down