…As UN Scribe lauds Nigeria, Tunisia on anti-money laundering efforts***
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on Monday observed that the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) has disbursed N3.946 trillion in the first half of 2018 to Federal, State and Local Governments.
The disclosure which came in NEITI’s quarterly report released in Abuja also noted, that the amount rose by 41.4 per cent, when compared to N2.788 trillion disbursed in the first half of 2017 and 95.4 per cent higher than the N2.019 trillion disbursed in the first half of 2016.
It said Delta state received the highest allocation of N101.19 billion in the six-month followed by Akwa Ibom with N100.2 billion; Rivers State with N85.01 billion, while Bayelsa received N77.14 billion.
According to the report, the four states received a total of N364.26 billion in the quarter under review.
“Thus, the disbursements in the first half of 2018 were almost double the disbursements in the first half of 2016.
“The breakdown of the data reveals that in the first half of 2018, the Federal Government received N1.652 trillion, which made up 41.8 per cent of the total amount disbursed;
“The states got N1.375 trillion, representing 34.8 per cent of the total; while N795 billion was disbursed to the Local Government Areas (LGAs), representing 20.1 per cent of the total.” it said
The report further noted that following the top four states to make the top ten category in the report was Lagos state that received N59.52 billion, Kano N39.88 billion, Edo N32.88 billion, Kaduna N32.86, Ondo N30.96 billion and Borno N30.04 billion.
On the other hand, the report revealed that the 10 states with the least federation allocation received a total of N189.45 billion, about six per cent less than the N201.39 billion total allocation received by Delta and Akwa Ibom states.
Osun state received the least allocation in the six-month period with N10.24 billion, while Cross River, Ekiti, Zamfara and Ogun states received N17.13 billion, N17.92 billion, N18.64 billion, N18.79 billion respectively.
Others include Plateau, Gombe, Kwara, Ebonyi and Taraba, with allocation of N20.6 billion, N20.64 billion, N21.39 billion, N21.61 billion and N22.49 billion respectively.
Continuing, the report noted, “In the first quarter of 2013, total disbursements were N2.607 trillion. This figure for first quarter of 2013 was the highest over this period while the N886.4 billion disbursed in second quarter 2016 was the lowest.
“This indicates a difference of N1.721 trillion between disbursements in the highest and lowest months.
This figure is very large and further highlights the volatility in revenue for the Federation, arising from the dependence on oil.
“This shows a generally declining pattern in disbursements from first quarter of 2013 until a trough was reached in second quarter 2016. Thereafter, an upward pattern is observed, and this increase continued until second quarter of 2018,’’ it stated.
The report indicated that the N2.008 trillion disbursed in second quarter of 2018 was the highest since third quarter of 2014, adding that second quarter of 2018 was the first time an amount in excess of N2 trillion was disbursed since third quarter 2014.
“This is a run of 14 consecutive quarters of disbursements below N2 trillion.’’ It added.
It further stated that all disbursements from first quarter of 2013 to second quarter 2014 were in excess of N2 trillion; this figure, it added clearly showed the contraction in revenue for all tiers of government, a pointer to why they had struggled to meet their obligations.
Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has expressed satisfaction with the anti-money laundering efforts in Nigeria and Tunisia.
Guterres, in his remarks to the Security Council on ‘Corruption in Conflicts’, noted that the anti-money laundering efforts in Nigeria and Tunisia had seen funds returned to the treasury.
“At its January Summit this year, the African Union launched the observance of 2018 as African Anti-Corruption Year.
“I am pleased to note that anti-money laundering efforts in Nigeria and Tunisia have seen funds returned,” the UN chief said, noting that the AU actually declared 2018 as an anti-corruption year with the theme: ‘Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation’.
The African Heads of State has in fentrusted Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari with the responsibility of serving as the ‘Champion of the Theme of the Year’.
The UN chief said corruption was present in all countries, rich and poor, North and South, developed and developing, adding that numbers show the startling scope of the challenge.
The World Economic Forum estimate that the cost of corruption is at least $2.6 trillion while according to the World Bank, businesses and individuals pay more than $1 trillion in bribes each year.
“Corruption robs schools, hospitals and others of vitally needed funds. It rots institutions, as public officials enrich themselves or turn a blind eye to criminality”, Guterres said, frowning on activities that denied people of their rights!
“It deprives people of their rights, drives away foreign investment and despoils the environment. Corruption breeds disillusion with government and governance – and is often at the root of political dysfunction and societal disunity.
“The poor and vulnerable suffer disproportionately. And impunity compounds the problem. Corruption can be a trigger for conflict, as conflict rages, corruption prospers. And even if conflict ebbs, corruption can impede recovery.
“Corruption drives and thrives on the breakdown of political and social institutions. These institutions are never more in crisis than in times of conflict.
“Corruption is linked to many forms of instability and violence, such as the illicit trafficking in arms, drugs and people”.
He noted the connections among corruption, terrorism and violent extremism, adding that assets stolen through corruption can be used to finance further crimes, including violent extremist and terrorist acts.
According to him, large-scale corruption surveys conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime found that bribery of public officials was particularly high in areas affected by conflict.
Guterres charged governments to enhance anti-corruption efforts by ensuring independent judiciaries, a vibrant civil society, freedom of the media and effective whistle-blower protections.
He said that the international community can complement those efforts by working more effectively against money laundering, tax evasion and the illicit financial flows that have deprived countries of much-needed resources, and that further feed corruption.
“We must all do more to fight corruption, strengthen governance and build trustworthy institutions that can ensure probity and progress for all,” the UN chief stressed.