Ekiti State was created in 1996 and the capital city is Ado Ekiti. The state is bounded by Kwara and Kogi in the north, lies east of Osun State and bounded by Ondo in the South. Ekiti State covers approximately an area of 5,887 square kilometers and is ranked 29th by size among Nigerian states. It is estimated that the population is about 3.27 million.
Ekiti’s gender distribution is closely aligned between males and females with about 50.7% males and 49.3% females making up the population. Ekiti’s age distribution has about 59.4% of its population in the 15-64 age bracket, thus showing a viable labour force and active working population.
Ekiti’s average annually internally generated revenue (IGR) is about N4.24 billion for the period between 2014 and 2018. In 2018, the state improved significantly in its IGR performance of N6.46 billion in comparism with the previous years. The total revenue available to the state in 2018, comprised of IGR of N6.46 billion and net Federation Account Allocation (FAAC) of N39.32 billion which amounted to N45.79 billion.
Source: National Bureau of Statistics
Among the 36 states, Ekiti State ranked 31st in terms of internally generated revenue in 2018. Also, the state has one of the highest external debt of $106,208,598.19 and a domestic debt of N118 billion.
In 2018, the State’s budget was N98.61 billion, comprised of N66.53 billion recurrent expenditure and N32.07 billion capital expenditure. Ekiti State was only able to finance 6% of its 2018 budget with its IGR. With a 2019 appropriation bill of N129.92billion, Ekiti State needs to generate as much as N72.70 billion as IGR, if it is to be self-sufficient in financing its recurrent expenditure in 2019. According to National Bureau of Statistics, Ekiti’s GDP per capita is estimated to be $1,169 billion (2007) .
Ekiti is abundantly blessed with natural resources. The state has bounteous mineral resources such as granite, kaolin, tin ore, columbite, bauxite. If these are harnessed, they could improve the state’s economic strength through exportation.
Examining some of the natural resources, granite is a multipurpose resource used in buildings, bridges, paving, sculpturing and for several interior items such as slabs and tiles. Some countries that have tapped into the goodness of granite for exportation are China, India, Italy, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Spain and the United States.
Tin ore produced by the state has multiple benefits which include being used for tin plating, window glass production, superconductive wire, brass alloys. Also, Cassiterite which is the main ore of tin is used as a gemstone in making jewellery. If produced in large quantities, it could provide a substantial revenue for the state both in local production and in exportation. Also, it is an avenue for creation of employment. Ekiti State could make Nigeria become one of the leading tin exporting countries and generate enormous revenue.
The main occupation of indigenes of Ekiti is agriculture and it currently serves as a major source of income for most of the citizens of the state. The agricultural products produced include cocoa, cassava, maize, oil palm, kolanut, plantain, bananas, cashew, citrus, timber, rice, yam and cowpea.
Cocoa which was exported enormously before the discovery of oil has almost been totally abandoned. There is a dire need to revive the production of cocoa for exportation as the proceeds recovered are high. In order to make cocoa more lucrative for exportation, there is the need to turn it into processed products such as chocolate, butter, powder etc. Modern agricultural methodologies and techniques should be implemented to aid large production of cocoa as well as development of infrastructure and processing factories in the state. Also, this industry would create massive employment for the state. It has been stated by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) that Nigeria has lost over $100 billion since 2008 over its inability to produce, process and export additional cocoa beans, palm oil admist other agricultural products .
The oil palm industry if full developed could be a large revenue earner for the state as oil palm is highly consumed all the world.
Ekiti State has numerous tourist attractions some of which are Ikogosi Warm Spring, Olosunta and Orole Hills of Ikere, Fajuyi Square – Adekunle Fajuyi Park, Ero Water Dam, Egbe Dam, Erinta Water Falls. Some already generate substantial revenue for the state and others could be properly developed a greater revenue generation.
Revenue generated from taxes could enable the government to implement all the above mentioned in terms or agriculture, tourism and tin industries.
The 2018 Annual States Viability Index (ASVI) released by the National Bureau of Statistics puts Ekiti State at 27th position from 36 states in terms of the ratio of its current IGR to its gross FAAC receipts which stands at 8.20%. This fact further reiterates the need for Ekiti State to improve its IGR figures. With the proper implementation of tax administration, Ekiti State could improve its IGR and move towards self-sufficiency.
-by Urenna Ukonne –