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Abia, Lagos, 28 other states spend over N968 billion on refreshments, travels in three months

At least 30 state governments spent N986.64bn on recurrent expenditures, including refreshments, sitting allowances, travelling, utilities, among others between January and March 2024.

This was contained in a budget assessment done by Open Nigerian States, a website supported by BudgIT that acts as a repository for public budget data, were analysed.

A breakdown showed that the 30-state government spent N5.1bn on refreshments for guests, N4.67bn on sitting allowances to government officials, N34.63bn on local and foreign travel expenses, and N5.64bn on utility bills, amounting to N50.02bn in the first three months of 2024.

The general utilities include electricity, internet, telephone charges, water rates, and sewerage charges, among others.

The sub-nationals also paid N405.77bn as salaries to their workers.

Other recurrent spending items covered in the report included the amount spent on foreign and domestic travel, Internet access fees, entertainment, foodstuff, honorarium/sitting allowance, wardrobe allowances, telephone bills, electricity charges, stationery, anniversaries/special days, welfare, aircraft maintenance, and more.

In the first three months of 2024, Abia State spent N10.92bn on its recurrent expenditures, including N165.38m on refreshments and feeding, N39.26m on utilities, N214.57m on sitting allowances, N127.1m on local and foreign travels, among miscellaneous expenses.

During this period, Adamawa State expended N23.7bn on recurrent expenditures with N287.61m spent on refreshments and feeding, N109.62m on utilities, N79.57m on sitting allowances, N768.77m on local and foreign travels.

For Akwa Ibom State, recurrent expenditure gulped N46.85bn, which included N4.46m on refreshments and feeding, N223.32m on utilities, N6m on sitting allowances, N214.61m on local and foreign travel.

Anambra State disbursed N9.91bn for recurring expenses with N78.18m on refreshments and feeding, N32.52m on utilities, N42.09m on sitting allowances, N188.39m on local and foreign travel.

Also, recurrent expenditures cost Bauchi State Government N35.75bn with N397.58m going to utilities, N50.8m on refreshments, N287.11m on allowances, and N413.56m on trips.

Bayelsa State spent N35.1bn on recurrent expenditures, comprising N28.4m on utilities, N156.14m on refreshments and N279.99m on trips.

Lagos State disbursed N189.62bn for recurrent expenditures, including N1.21m for refreshments, N383.12m for utilities, sitting allowances costing N52.79m and N633.37m on travels.

Borno spent N18.79bn, Cross Rivers (N17.44bn), Delta (N68.68bn), Ebonyi (N14.95bn), Edo (N32.32bn), Ekiti (N32.8bn), Enugu (N7.51bn) and Gombe with N20.89bn.

Within the same period, Jigawa State spent N15.52bn on the recurrent expenditures, Kaduna expended N34.69bn, Kano (N34.41bn), Katsina (N21.87bn), Kebbi (N11.67bn), Kogi (N37.4bn), Kwara (N24.34bn), Nasarawa (N18.61bn), Ogun (N47.12bn), Ondo (N31.12bn), Osun (N24.39bn), Oyo (N40.12bn), Plateau (N24.70bn),  Zamfara (N13.46bn), and Taraba (N20.93bn).

This is coming amid pressure from labour unions in the country for an increase in the minimum wage of workers from the current N30,000.

The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.

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