Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rentier state

Thanks to Imnakoya at Grandiose Parlor for pointing out this story from Vanguard. I'd missed the meaning of the headline.

What's a nation-state to do if nearly all of its revenue comes from one source, and that source dries up? Nigeria will have to figure that one out.

Under the current system, the national government hands out monthly oil revenue checks to state governors. Overall, more than 80% of government revenue comes from that oil revenue. In some states, the percentage is higher.

And what is the price of oil today?

Meltdown Depletes Govts' Monthly Allocations

"As the global economic recession bites harder and the future of oil prices remain uncertain, the excess crude account has dried up as there was nothing in the account to share based on what the three tiers of government agreed on earlier.

"Yesterday... Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Remi Babalola, urged states to explore sources of revenue other than allocations from the central pool as a means of coping with the current financial meltdown, and advised the states to review their various policies in order to boost their internally generated revenue (IGR) to uplift the living standards of the people...

"For the first time in several months, the meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee of February 2009 did not share any revenue from the Excess Crude Account...

"It will be recalled that last year, the CBN Governor Professor Chukwuma Soludo... warned Nigerians, saying that the amount saved from oil windfall in the country's excess crude revenue account has been depleted and what is left will not tide the country over any financial downturn should oil price fall below the budget bench mark of $62 per barrel..."

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