The team leader of the European Union Support for Nigeria’s Federal Government Reforms, Professor Olaseni Akintola-Bello, says the inability of some state governments to pay salaries is as a result of the Governor’s disregard for the state’s budget.
He said that the ‘scissors crisis’ situation, where expenditure is rising faster than revenue, required some fiscal reforms.
Professor Bello stressed the need for the Governors to understand the budget very well.
“If you look at the budget, you have the recurrent revenues and the recurrent expenditure. There are two aspects of the budget and one aspects are discretionary while others are non-discretionary.
“Capital expenditure are discretionary while payment of salaries and pensions are non-discretionary.
“If the governors can match their revenue to their expenditure and raise debt within their ability to repay they won’t have problems,” Professor Bello said.
“Fiscal indiscipline is why they have challenges. If there is a way that we can bring about fiscal discipline, that is the first step.”
He also stressed that the Governors must adhere to fiscal transparency roles, which are international good practices.
“A governor or a state is supposed to publish monthly or quarterly report to ensure that people follow the activities,” Professor Bello said.
Some States government in Nigeria had few days ago, requested for a bailout from the Federal Government, saying that the dwindling revenue allocation had forced them to seek help.