Niger State governor, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has raised the alarm that revenue accruable to the 36 state governments from the Federation Account has declined by about 40 per cent over the last six months.
He, therefore, warned that if the situation was not brought under control by the relevant authorities, most of the states in the country would not be able to pay workers’ salaries very soon.
Aliyu, who doubles as Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum, made this known yesterday when the new Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier-General Johnson Olawunmi and the outgoing Secretary General of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Colonel Musa Shehu (retd), paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Minna.
The governor, however, blamed the dwindling revenue from the Federation Account on low remittance from crude oil sales, which accounted for more than 70 per cent of the total amount generated to the Federation Account.
He also averred that “corruption and outright stealing had affected oil revenue” of the country in recent times and, therefore, asked that something urgent should be done to reverse the trend to forestall an impending financial crisis in the polity.
The governor also said that the 19 northern state governors would meet very soon to brainstorm on ways of solving the financial problems confronting all tiers government in the country.
While admitting that prospecting oil and gas was the sole responsibility of the Federal Government as enshrined in the constitution, Mr. Aliyu said there was nothing stopping the states from preparing the ground for the Federal Government to come in and invest in the project.