12th July, 2016
Press Release

Benin City, Nigeria…The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has called on the Federal government to give loans to state governments only for the development of critical sectors of the economy rather than offering them handouts which turn out to be counter-productive and hurt the economy.
This call was made by the Executive Director ANEEJ, the Rev David Ugolor, and made available to the press just after reports in mainstream media stated that the Federal government had already disbursed N50billion to the 35 states which had applied for the said handouts. Another N40billion is expected to be disbursed to states seeking the funds within a nine-month period mostly for the settlement of monthly salaries and emoluments of civil services.
The Rev. Ugolor said that in spite of the fact that state governments collect princely allocations monthly, and that the 2016 Budget had already been passed several months ago, critical areas of the economy like roads, power, health services are nearly comatose and have not justified allocations and loans which most states are wont to collect.
“We believe that state governments should be more interested in looking inwards to generate revenue rather than looking for a handout from the Federal government. That is how we can achieve the much talked about diversification, not by continually bailing out salaries of a few segment of the society, at the peril of critical infrastructure and businesses Most states are imbued with abundant natural and human resources which they can exploit with loans from the FG for the promotion of programmes which create jobs and drive employment, rather than loans which pay salaries and emoluments of civil servants’, the Rev Ugolor said.
The ANEEJ Executive Director said that even though conditions attached to the loans seem stringent, the Federal government has no constitutional powers to back up its claims that it intends to monitor and evaluate how such funds will be utilized by the state governments for the benefit of Nigerians.
“In the face of a dwindling income from oil, Nigeria has no business doling money to state governors who cannot wear their thinking caps in a rapidly changing world. Agriculture, power, roads, health services are in one form of problem or the other in spite of the allocations and loans which have had no direct effect on the lives of Nigerians. We believe that what the Federal government and state governments should take steps to reduce recurrent expenditure, ensure transparency, probity and proper accounting of the resources of this country”, Ugolor said in the statement.

For more information Contact.
Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ
39 Oyaide Street,
Off Benoni, GRA, Benin City, Nigeria.
info@aneej.org, www.aneej.org