It is often said that Nigeria is a banana republic. A country that relies heavily on the export of single commodity as a means of foreign exchange earning to service her economy is definitely doomed to find herself in financial mess, stress and strains once the commodity suffers dwindling fortune as a result of vagaries and politics surrounding sales of the commodity or product in the international market. This is the fate of Nigeria as we speak.

The drama playing out in Nigeria as a result of the dwindling fortune of crude oil in the international market is taking a very precarious dimension. It is no longer news that the price of crude oil in the international market has dropped by about 50% percent in the past few months. This has had serious adverse or negative financial consequences on Nigeria and other countries that rely majorly on the export of crude oil to sustain their economies.

As for Nigeria, however, the drop in the price of crude oil in the international market is taking heavy tolls on the country. Nigeria is now on the brink of economic recession, sadly.This is largely due to the fact that she relies over 90%  on  export of crude oil
for inflow of foreign revenue to run her economy and other areas of her national life. This is compounded or worsened by corruption on the part of the ruling class and the fact that little saving was done for rainy days, when the price of crude oil was all time high for nearly ten years. The direct aftermath of this is that the country's foreign reserve, which was already poor before now has dropped astronomically to about 30 billion dollars as a result of massive withdrawals by the Federal Government of Nigeria to finance the affairs of state.

There is no doubt that the financial situation in Nigeria would not have been this tragic and appalling as the present reality had the country diversified her economy years ago with a view to revamping and reviving its various facets; generating jobs for the citizens, fixing infrastructure and creating multiple sources of revenue generation, among others.

It sad that we have now reached a stage in our national life where the Federal Government of Nigeria and some state governments CANNOT pay salaries of civil and public servants working for them. It was reported on the pages of various national dailies in Nigeria today (o6/05/2015), that the Federal Government of Nigeria has borrowed over N400 billion Naira to pay salaries of federal workers in the past few months. This is the height of shame as a state that cannot pay the salaries of her workers is not different from a failed state.

More dramatic in this entire saga is the inability of some state governments in Nigeria to pay salaries of persons working for them. Just yesterday, Tuesday 5th May, 2015, governors from states controlled by the All Progressives Congress, paid a visit to the president elect of Nigeria, General Mohammed Buhari (rtd) to complain about the poor and pathetic state of Nigerian economy and the inability of their states to pay salaries of civil servants. Some may argue that what they did is a right step in the right direction. I however, take exception to this. These governors have been in power for four to eight years as the case may be but very few of them did little or nothing to diversify the economies of their states and many, if not all of them, are guilty of looting their state treasuries for their personal aggrandizement. Technically, therefore, they should be indicted for the sorry state of our economy today. The tradition has being for all the governors of the thirty six states of Nigeria to rely heavily on monthly revenue allocations from the federations accounts to run their states. To put it succinctly, state and local governments in Nigeria do rely on the Federal Government to 'SPOON-FEED' them like nursing mothers do feed their babies from the feeding bottle. This is what I mean by the practice of feeding bottle federalism in Nigeria.

The practice of feeding bottle federalism in Nigeria is largely responsible for the high and alarming level of underdevelopment that pervades the various aspects of our national life. This is compounded by corruption on the part of government officials who siphon public funds for their personal aggrandizement . It is no longer news that many of the so-called states and local governments in Nigeria are not viable economically. Most, if not all of them, CANNOT survive economically without financial support, by way of monthly revenue allocation  from the central government. This is because many of them generate little or no internal revenue. Even those that do generate cannot account for it due to corruption, hence, the over dependence on the central government.                  
 It is not possible to talk about revenue allocation without generation. State governors and local government chairmen in Nigeria should start talking about revenue generation and talk less about allocation from federal government.

What we are witnessing now regarding the inability of the federal and some state governments in Nigeria to pay salaries of workers and attend to affairs of state will continue for a very long time to come so much as the country continues to depend on crude oil as the only key source of revenue generation for the state while corruption remains in the system. We must realize that this 'OIL-BASED' economy is not working. This is the time to diversify our economy. This is the time for state and local governments in Nigeria to start generating revenue and consciously reduce over-dependence on the Federal Government for money. Now is the time for Nigeria to adopt TRUE FEDERALISM. This would accord  each state and local government in Nigeria with the constitutional power to harness and explore the hitherto untapped resources in their domains for development purposes while still paying taxes and maintaining allegiance and loyalty to the federal government, which, in turn would use its share of our collective wealth to develop the whole country.

Not until every state and local government in Nigeria begins to generate revenue, I am afraid, they would continue to suffer financial embarrassment and unable to pay workers salaries and attend to other matters financially. Visiting General Buhari to complain about the poor state of the economy and inability to pay salaries is not enough, all governors, APC or PDP, MUST look inward and develop their states from revenue that accrue to them. It is also imperative that the Nigerian constitution be reviewed to empower state and local governments to harness and use resources in their territories for developmental purposes. In all this, corruption MUST be curbed and if possible, eliminated at all levels of government. This is one major way to ensure all round development in the country. In this regard, Nigerians, MUST give the president elect, General Buhari, the needed support to fight corruption and fix Nigeria for the benefit of Nigerians.
You may get the full article on my blog:

This article was originally written on 6th May, 2015. You may visit my blog on for more articles. Thanks.