Nigerian States Receiving Huge Federal Allocations but Can’t Keep Children in School

Nine of the Nigerian states receiving the highest revenue allocations also have some of the highest numbers of out-of-school children in the country, raising concerns over accountability and prioritisation.

Nine of Nigeria’s highest-earning states from federal allocations also had the highest number of out-of-school children, a PREMIUM TIMES analysis of data from the nation’s statistics bureau, NBS, has shown.

The data is an aggregation of the monthly federal allocations to all 36 states and the FCT from 2015 to 2018 – since the out-of-school children data is as of 2018.

Within the four years under review, about N7.5 trillion (excluding the FCT’s allocation in 2016) was shared among the states as federal allocation, according to the NBS, with the oil-rich Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa and Nigeria’s economic hub Lagos the highest beneficiaries.

In spite of receiving some of the largest slices of the federal allocations, Kano, Akwa Ibom, Ondo, Borno, Katsina, Oyo, Jigawa, Niger and Kaduna states also housed the highest number of out-of-school children in the country, raising concerns over fiscal accountability and prioritisation by the states.

Oil-rich Akwa Ibom in Nigeria’s south earned the highest with N606 billion, yet had the second-highest number of out-of-school children. Despite getting N249.4 billion, the sixth-highest allocation within the period, the northwestern state of Kano had the highest out-of-school children.

Other top earners that could not keep their children out of the streets include Ondo, which earned N199.3 billion; Borno, N185.2 billion; Katsina, N184.2 billion; Oyo, N176.2 billion; Jigawa, N174.6 billion; Niger, N172.7 billion; Kaduna, N171.8 billion.

According to the 2018 data published by the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Kano had 989,234 out-of-school children, Akwa-Ibom 581,800, Katsina 536,122, Kaduna 524,670, Oyo 418,900, Jigawa 337,861, Borno 330,389, Ondo 317,700 and Niger 292,700.

On the flip side, Delta (N541.8 billion) and Bayelsa (N438.7 billion) – among the top four earners – and Edo (N180.4 billion), the tenth highest earner, also had some of the lowest out-of-school children estimates from the same year.

Delta had 145,996 of the nation’s out-of-school children, Edo – 140,798 and Bayelsa – 53,079.

Total earnings against out-of-school estimates

All states and the FCT made a combined revenue (FAAC and IGR) of about N11.1 trillion in four years. The figure excludes the IGR for Ebonyi and the FCT in 2015, as well as the latter’s IGR and FAAC in 2016 and its 1GR in 2017.

Lagos alone accounted for N1.6 trillion of the over N11 trillion all the states earned.

Rivers raked in N865.5 billion; Delta N737 billion; Akwa Ibom N684.2 billion; Bayelsa N481.5 billion; Ogun N391.7 billion; Kano N380.5 billion.

Other higher earners include Edo N276.4 billion; Oyo N257.8 billion; Kaduna N256.4 billion; Ondo N253.8 billion; FCT N233.4 billion; Enugu N229.8 billion; Anambra N225.7 billion; Abia N214.5 billion.

Akwa Ibom, Kano, Oyo, Ondo and Kaduna are again higher earners with high unschooled children.

On the other hand, Delta, Bayelsa, Edo, the FCT, Enugu, Anambra and Abia kept their out-of-school children figure low.

Meanwhile, all units of the federation, save Lagos and Ogun, are largely dependent on FAAC allocation because it dwarfs their internally generated revenue significantly.

Only Lagos and Ogun States earned more from IGR than they did FAAC in those four years combined.

Out-of-school children

More than half of Nigeria’s 10.2 million out-of-school children live in 10 states of the country, data published in the 2018 digest of basic education statistics by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and corroborated by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its 2020 report on women and men showed.

All 10 have a combined 5.2 million children not attending primary school.

The 10.2 million estimate, more than 60 per cent of them boys, is more than a quarter of the nation’s 40.8 million children of primary school age (between six and 11 years).

By implication, as of 2018, for every four Nigerian children, one had no access to primary school education.

Least FAAC earners with lower numbers of out-of-school children

Again, nine of the bottom fifteen FAAC earners from 2015 to 2018 are among the bottom fifteen states with the least out-of-school children.

A total of N90.6 billion was earned as FAAC allocation by Osun State in four years, making it the least earner, yet it had 165,114 out-of-school children, the fourteenth least by all states.

Ekiti earned N120.2 billion, making it the second least earner, yet it had the lowest out-of-school children, 50,945.

Despite earning N122.2 billion, Cross River had 97,919 out-of-school students. Gombe made N132.9 billion and kept its unschooled children estimate at 162,000.

Kwara made N133 billion and had 84,247 out-of-school. With N135.5 billion, Ebonyi had 145,373 unschooled children. Nasarawa’s estimate was 187,000 children even though it got an allocation of N138.9 billion. Enugu got N153.3 billion and had 82,050 out-of-school children. Abia got N158.7 billion and kept its figure at 91,548 children.

Overall least earners with lower numbers of out-of-school children

Again, overall Osun (N129.6 billion), Ekiti (N138 billion), Ebonyi (N149.1 billion), Gombe (N153.2 billion), Nasarawa (N160.3 billion) and Cross River (N186.3 billion) were the least earners among the lowest fifteen states with out-of-school children.

Specifically, Ekiti made the second least overall money in the four years reviewed, yet it had the lowest out-of-school children.

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