Integral Development of Communities for a World Without Poverty.

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Socio Economic Analysis of 10 Niger Delta Communities






Siluko community is the last community before the river on that route. It is a riverine community in a rain forest zone. It is located in Ovia South west local Government area of Edo state. History has it that (Siluko Community’s) founder migrated from the Benin Kingdom during the reign of Oba Osemwede around the 14th or 15th centuries. Edo language is the people’s language.

The people celebrate the Igue festival the same way and time it is celebrated by the Oba of Benin Kingdom. Usually it is celebrated in December of every year to appreciate the gods of the land.

The second is the Ewere festival that is usually done to cleanse the land in January of every year after the popular Igue festival.

Siluko community is located advantageously by a large river called Ovia. Most of its economic activities are centered on it. It has Crude oil, Clay, Sharp sand, Bitumen. Although the people also engage in farming, fishing, basket weaving trading local distillation of gin, they are also endowed with building abilities.

If most of these natural resources are well harnessed, it will bring a lot of economic benefits to the community and the state. During the post-colonial era its crude was drilled by Shell Petroleum Development Company. But for a very long time such activities have been put to a halt. Factory that uses clay (Ceramic industry) and sharp sand as raw materials could also be established in the community.


Emah community was founded in 1440AD by Pa Omigie Igbinagbon during the reign of Oba Adolor of the great Benin kingdom. And it is located in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State- a few kilometers from Ekiadolor. The people of Emah speak Edo language .They are Christians and Africa tradition worshippers. The people of Emah mark the Igue festival alone. And this is done at the time the Oba of Benin is marking the Popular Igue Festival usually in December of every year.


The people of Emah are hard working people, very peaceful and engage in farming and trading of their farm produce. They produce pineapple in large quantity thus making a pineapple juice factory a viable project in the locality.

The community is blessed with natural resources such as River, Timber, Building and Oil palm. Their oil palms production although presently not in commercial quantity, but because of availability of farm land, could be boosted.


Emah people in farming, fishing, timbering and production of oil (locally processed) and each of these activities attracts many buyers and sellers from far and near communities of the state and beyond to Emah community.  For instance, people from the Eastern part of Nigeria do visit the community to buy garri and other farm produce.


Aihuobabekun community is a community in Edo State located in Ovia Northeast local Government area of Edo South Senatorial District. The community was founder in the 15th century by Okungbowa from Ozogwor, he was succeeded by his brother. They are predominately Edo speaking people with farming as their major occupation. As part of their cultural heritage the people celebrate Ovia and Ekpo festival between the months of November to December yearly which is believed to bring peace to the community. The community is mixed with Christian and African traditional religion. The community is rich with Timber, Palm oil, Rubber and Cocoa as their major natural resources.  Farming is their major source of employment and cocoa production is a very viable commercial produce that have earned the community a lot income. They even have a cooperative society to aid in sales of the product .Traders from the neighbouring state (Ondo) come to buy their cocoa. They lamented their lack of capacity to draw Government attention for their development.


Iguorhiaki Community is a community located in the Western part of Ovia South west Local Government area of Edo state. It was founded by Pa Orhiaki who incidentally was the only transporter of persons by canoe from interior communities to the city around the 15 century through the Ovia River. Iguorhiaki is surrounded by four other communities which are; Aigbomonba, Aimieghorwan, Evbogun and Igueaze. Edo language is their spoken language.

Christianity, Islamic and Africa tradition are the religion of the people.

Iguorhiaki people have their festivals ranging from Igue that is usually celebrated in December (in line with the practice of the Oba of Benin) to the Obe festival that is done once a year. It is marked by praying to the gods of the land to take away reproach from them and Odeyanse Festival that is celebrated once in two years to thank their gods and cleansing of the land of any evil.



Iguorhiaki is centrally located between Benin the state capital and Iguobazuwa both of which are commercial towns for the market of farm produce and well as manpower. The community is endowed with river, Clay, Timber, Oil palm, Building sand. All these have commercial viability.

The people of Iguorhiaki community are great farmers and fishers. They engage also in trade (selling of their farm produce in exchange for cash). They already have a Timber Company present in their community.


Avbiama community is located in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo state. It is bounded by four communities namely; Oka, Ihimwirin, Obazagbon and Umelu

Avbiama people are Christians and African tradition religion worshippers. They speak Edo language. The people of Avbiama enjoy wonderful time together during festivals which attracts sons and daughters from far and near. They have three major festivals:

Ekpo Festival: This festival is usually celebrated every October to mark peace in the land

Orhe Festival: This festival is done in the raining season between June and July each year. During which time they people consult their gods and make atonement for sin as well as cleansing of the land. In the time of this festival, masquerade of different sorts comes out to perform to the delight and admiration of all and sundry that seat, watch and dance during the celebration.

The last of these festivals is the Ovia festival which from our investigation is peculiar to all Edo speaking tribe of Edo state. This is celebrated at the end of the year. This festival is actually to thank their gods and also make different sacrifice to appease them.


Avbiama community is located few kilometers south from Benin- the state headquarters. The community of Avbiama is endowed with natural resources such as Building sand, forest, farm land etc. The building sand is already been evacuated for building houses and other structures in the city. Another use the sand can be put to use is in ceramic and glass factory if such a company is sited in the community. The people of Avbiama community are mostly farmers, traders and builders. They farm in crops like plantain, cassava (garri), yam which they take to Benin and sometimes the people in the city come to Avbiama to buy directly from the farmers. Not less than two trailer load of garri is taken out of this community every five days.



Gbeoba community is a riverine community located in Ovia South West Local Government area of Edo State. It was founded by Pa. Akuwakolo between 400-500 years ago who also was the first Amokosowie (leader) of the community. It is important to state here that the people and leaders of Gbeoba community pay their tribute/royalty to the Agadagba of Egbema kingdom who oversees the entire kingdom. The people of Gbeoba speak Ijaw language. Ofunama and Ugbolukanga are their neighbors.

The people of Gbeoba community have their festival well organized into groups. They have;

Seimo Festival and Tinfini festival: These festivals are usually celebrated in the month of March every year.  While Seimo is marked for Peace in the Land, Tinfini is done to atone or appease the gods of the land.

The women festival: This festival is marked to celebrate the women in the community. This further enhances the unity and progress amongst the women in the community. It is done every June.

Youth festival: This festival is marked in Decembers/January of every year to celebrate the youth in the community.

Bohara Festival:-This festival is done by instruction from the gods who communicate to the people through the Priest as their mouth piece.

Africa tradition religion and Christianity are the two main religions of the people.

The Ijaws dresses in their big wrapper on a singlet with a hat on and a walking stick to go with it. Same applies to the people of Gbeoba.



Gbeoba people are very industrious people who engage in carving of canoes and paddling sticks, traditional Birth Attendance, massaging, fish farming, palm win tapping, local distillation of gins as well as trading. They also farm in cash crops such as cocoa, plantain, rubber tapping, they extract building sand and gravels all of which constitutes their economic activities. People from neighboring villages and city (Benin) come to buy fish and other farm produce from Gbeoba at the River bank. Ekenwan riverside happen to be the market for Gbeoba community produce because of its proximity. Its natural resources limestone could be used as raw material for cement industry. Furthermore, its mineral resources should be exploited; this could be a good source of employment and revenue if an industry is sited in the place. There is also marble needed in the building industry.




Ekenwan community is a located in Ovia North East Local Government area of Edo State,

The history of Ekenwan dates back to 25th century ago when four Brothers namely Ogbaen (most senior of them all), Egbene, Ikpiti and Perezighia traveled down through the Ovia River from Ekenwan in the present day River State to settle somewhere in Edo State and called the name of the place after their root.

Ikoro, Gelegele and Iboro are Ekewan close neigbhours.the language of the people is Edo and Ijaw. Christianity and Africa Tradition religion is the two religions dominant in the place


The people of Ekenwan community have the yearly festivals with beautifully adorned masquerade to add colour to these festivals. The different festivals and masquerade are;

  1. Igbesun Festival:- This festival is peculiar to all Ijaw speaking tribe and it is usually celebrated at the end of the year with different masquerade like Epin, Igodo and Tuo-owu performing to the delight of the people
  2. Ama-eru Festival:  This is celebrated mid year to appease the gods of the land.


Ekenwan community is endowed with natural resources such as River, building sand, timber, palm trees e.t.c and their major occupation includes; fish farming, trading farming and Traditional Birth Attending. The sand could provide raw material for the building industry.

Furthermore, they produce Agricultural products such as garri, plantain, yam banana in substantial commercial quantity which they also trade on. In addition, they distill “ogogoro” locally which they also sell. Worthy of mention is the fact that Ekenwan has a big market which size is about 400 sq metres



In the 18th century (1750AD) Prince Ewedobaken-one of the sons of Oba Akengbuda (the king of Benin kingdom) founded Ogua community. Thus, became the fist Enogie of Ogua. This is in line with the traditional practice of Benin kingdom.

The people of Ogua like every other community in the Benin Kingdom have their festivals and masquerade viz;

Ehema festival

This is usually celebrated every February with masquerades dressed in different African attire parading and dancing to the admiration of all. Worthy of mention is that this Festival is marked to celebrate Peace in the Land

Ikevbie festival

New yam festival celebrated every November of the year. In Ogua community, nobody eats new yam until after the new yam festival

Edion festival

Ovia festival This is usually celebrated to appease the gods of the land and it is done in the month of March every year amidst vows and oath taking .On this occasion barren women and people with divers problem come to make promises, vow and take oath before their gods.



Ogua community’s major occupation is farming. Little wonder, they produce garri (proceeds from cassava) in commercial quantity. Their garri is well known for is high quality. The community produces about a trailer load every oka market (a neighbouring) .it‘s garri production has really earn the community some popularity. This act has also procure for the community some cassava grinding machine (though a self help project).Tradition and custom handed down has also made them very proficient in trading of their farm produce since Benin the State headquarters is just a stone throw from them.

Also, they are very good at taking delivery (Traditional Birth Attendance) as well as being native doctors.

                                    IGUOBAZUWA COMMUNITY



Iguobazuwa community is one of the oldest communities in Ovia south west Local Government Area of Edo State. The community is now the headquarters of Ovia South west local Government area. Iguobazuwa community was founded over 300years ago by Chief Obazuwa during the reign of Oba Osemwede of the great Benin Kingdom.

The community shares boundaries with Iguogun, Okiro and Afesoba community. The people of Iguobazuwa community speak Edo language.

The people of Iguobazuwa community with it rich cultural heritage celebrate the following festival

  1. The Igue
  2. Ekpo festival
  3. Ugie Ewere Festival

The Igue festival is usually celebrated between the month of December and January every year. The Igue festival heralds the coming out of masquerade usually for three months.

The Ewere festival is believed to drive away evil spirit and appeasing of the gods. This is proceeded by the Ekpo masquerade dance that usually out for three months.

The new yam festival is mark between the month of September and October every year.

The people of Iguobazuwa community are Christians and Muslims and Africa Traditional worshippers

The Ogudugu is a god in the community that comes out on rare occasion and it’s forbidden to see the god. The god is also to vest vengeance and to ensure strict compliance to the law of the land.



Apart from trading, Iguobazuwa is an economic viable place due to it natural resources like timber, Sand, Marble Stones/ Gravel etc. if well put to use  like citing of industries that could make use of this raw materials .it could be a source of revenue for the community.


Iboro community is located in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo State. It is believed that the people migrated from Rivers State headed by his founder Egbene in 15AD.  They share the same belief, tradition, values, and customs with Iboro people of Rivers state. The people of Iboro speak Ijaw and Edo languages. Iboro community is surrounded by the following communities Ekenwan, Ewudu, Nikorogha communities. The major traditional festival is the Ogbesu festival which is celebrated at the end of the year. The two religion is predominant in the community is Christianity and African traditional religion.


The people of Iboro community engage in the following as their economic source of living. Fishing, Farming, Local distillation of alcohol (Ogogoro) .most of their farm produce they sell in the neighbouring community’s market. Resources like timber and sharp sand could be resources for industries.





Niger Delta Citizens Budget Platform Analysis of Edo State 2011 Budget.

Analysis of the 2011 Budget of Edo State


Edo State is one of the six states in the South-South Region also called the Niger-Delta Region of Nigeria. It has a total landmass of approximately 17,802 sq km and a population of 3,497,502 (2006 National Population and Housing Census). The state was created in 1991 along with Delta State when the defunct Bendel State was dissolved. Edo State is bounded in the North and East by Kogi State, in the West by Ondo, and in the South by Delta State respectively. It has vegetation comprising of fresh water swamps, rain forest and rocky hills to the north introducing the guinea savanna high lands of northern Nigeria. Administratively the State is divided into eighteen Local Government Areas, its administrative headquarters being Benin-City.

Comments from one of the participants at the Edo State Budget Monitoring analysis report presentation

Edo is one of the oil producing states in Nigeria and by virtue of that fact, benefits from a special allocation of 13% based on the quantity of crude derived from its territory. Consequent upon this, Edo State has a fiscal edge over other non oil producing states in the country. However, this edge does not stand it out from other states of the federation in terms of infrastructure, human development and capital base. On key indices, the state fares the same or even worse than other less endowed states.

Access to Budget, Fiscal Data and Citizens’ Participation

As at the middle of the year, Edo State had a copy of it annual budget as well as the Governors Budget Speech available on its website. This indicates an openness with budget documents that is rare in Nigeria. However, the same cannot be said about the availability of other vital fiscal documents.

Edo State like other states covered by the Platform’s intervention in the Niger Delta, does not have any significant mechanism for seeking citizens’ input in the policy direction of the state and its expenditure preferences. From the point of formulating the budget up to when the projects and programmes are implemented and audit is carried out, citizens’ have very negligible or no roles at all. This neglect which is widespread in the Niger Delta States, has the disadvantage of alienating citizens from a process which ordinarily should be informed by their development priorities and galvanize their collective participation at all stages. In Edo State as in many Niger Delta states, this had led to government policies that do not reflect the aspirations of the vast majority.

Edo State and Fiscal Management Mechanisms


The Fiscal Responsibility Act and Public Procurement Act enacted by Nigeria’s National Legislature are mechanisms designed to provide for the prudent management of the nation’s resources, ensure long term stability of the economy and ensure that accountability and transparency are observed as core ingredients in the management of public resources. Having been passed at the national level, Nigeria’s federal constitution requires that the same law be domesticated at the state levels. This domestication translates that the State legislature passes similar laws to pursue the same objectives howbeit within their domains. It is also required that the state governments take steps to establish fiscal responsibility and public procurement agencies which will guarantee the smooth implementation of the mechanism and strict compliance with its provisions.

Edo State has neither a Public Procurement Law or a Fiscal Responsibility Law, however components of both fiscal mechanisms are currently before the State House of Assembly for their consideration. The absence of these Laws in the fiscal management processes in Edo State translates that best practices in contracts award and financial management are not strictly followed. The consequence of this could be the emergence of avenues for leakages, patronage and fiscal fiat, all of which are detrimental to the State.


Policy Thrust


In his speech made while presenting the 2011 budget to the Edo State House of Assembly, the State Governor gives the policy objectives of the state thus:

Mr. Speaker, the 2011 Budget strategically reinforces our Administration’s overall objectives of infrastructural renewal, human welfare, employment and wealth creation as well as the deepening of popular participation in governance and development.

From the foregoing, it is manifest that the state government seeks to pursue infrastructural renewal, while ensuring human welfare (which include education and healthcare amongst others), creating employment opportunities, and ensuring the participation of citizens in the development and governance of the state. A quick reflection on the aspect of ‘deepening popular participation in governance and development’ vis a vis what is obtainable in the state indicates that this aspect is either none existent or is still at a very negligible state. As mentioned earlier, there are no institutional structures or conventions in the state to achieve this level of participation.

Budget 2011


In 2011, the Edo State Government presented a total budget of N105.9billion. After its deliberations, the House of Assembly eventually passed an amended budget of N112.7billion.  Of this amount, N43.9billion is earmarked for recurrent expenditure while N68.8billion is for capital expenditure.

This represents a budget share of 39% for recurrent expenditure and 61% for capital expenditure. This distribution is considered fair given the huge infrastructural development needs of the State. The 2011 budget also represents an N11.7billion nominal increase when compared to the 2010 figure which was N101billion.

2011 Revenue Streams

The Chart above shows the various sources the Edo State Government proposes to finance its 2011 budget from. Statutory Allocation is the highest source with 40% expected. 13% derivation is expected to also provide 4% of the budgetary funds. These two sources which amount to 44% of needed funds for the budget, are both dependent on transfers from the federation account. These transfers on the other hand are not stable as they depend of the health of the international oil market. The danger in predicating such overwhelming portion of the state budget on these sources is that the state exercises no control over its flows. It is therefore difficult for the state to be definite on what it will actually receive from these sources making it hard for planning in the medium and long term. It also accounts for sharp rises and declines in budget performance. For instance, while the 2010 budget expected to generate N44.5billion from the federation account, it had only received N30.5billion as at September.

Internally Generated Revenue on the other hand represents that source of revenue which the state has some measure of control over, and which has the potential of making the fiscal fortunes of the state stable and allow for greater planning. This source of revenue accounts for just 16% of the 2011 budget. In 2010, IGR was expected to provide N18billion, but as at September 2011, only N9.2billion had been realized.

In nominal figures however, Internally Generated Revenue contribution to the State’s Annual Budget has steadily improved over the last three years with a monthly average generation rising from N300m to N800m as revealed by the Governor in his 2010 Budget presentation speech. But the IGR ratio in the total annual budgetary estimates has been in steady decline from 30.2% in 2009 down to 29% in 2010 and further down to 24% in 2011.

The 2011 revenue projections also leans largely on loans and grants. External Loans are expected to provide 8%, Internal Loans 7% and Grants 11%. Cumulatively, the government is out sourcing 26% of its 2011 budget. This trend is dangerous in the sense that it could bequeath a debt repayment burden on the state. The more proper and prudent direction of the government will be to develop internal sources of revenue generation including taxes, and predicate its budget on benchmarks it is sure of achieving. From the information given in the budget, this was not the case in 2010 and certainly not the case in 2011.

2010 Budget Performance


The 2010 budget performance data provided in the budget leaves very little to be desired. In his 2011 budget speech, the state Governor also admits the dismal performance of the 2010 budget. For instance in the area of revenue, while expected recurrent accrual in 2010 was N69.1billion, actual accrual as at end of the third quarter was just N44.5billion, representing only 64%. Also, total expected capital receipt was N32.8billion in 2010, what was actually received as at September 2010 was just N4.2billion. This shows a performance of just 13%. Predictably, this shortfalls impacted negatively on the overall budget performance for 2010. Out of a total capital expenditure budget of N62.3billion, actual expenditure as at September 2010 was just N13.8billion, indicating a dismal performance of just 22%.






In the 2011 budget, the Education sector is given a capital allocation of N7.5billion. In 2010, it was allocated N7.2billion. This represents a nominal rise of N300million. However, in real terms using an annual inflation figure of 9%, the value stands at N6.8 billion indicating a decline of N400million.

The allocation to education amounts to 11% share of the overall capital budget. While this does not meet up to the 26% recommendation to the education sector, it nonetheless shows a reasonable commitment to the government’s policy direction, especially when viewed alongside other allocations in the budget. It is however recommended that such allocation be increased progressively to tackle the education challenges in the state.

On the other hand, the performance of the 2010 education capital budget raises concerns as to the level of impact the 2011 allocations will have. While N7.2billion was allocated in 2010, as at September of the same year, just N1.4billion had been utilized. This indicates a performance of just 19%. It is doubtful if the full allocation could have been expended with just three months left in the fiscal year. Going by this reasoning, questions arise as to the actual commitment of the government in pursuing transformation in the education sector.




In the 2011 budget, health is allocated N2.7billion. In 2010, the allocation was N1.7billion, showing that the allocation has increased nominally by N1billion or 63%. This figure represents a 3.9 share of the overall capital outlay.

While the increased allocation in 2011 is commendable, it however does not show any commitment on the part of the government in the area of health care. As a percentage of the total capital budget the allocation falls short of indicating the government is truly committed to pursuing a policy of health care for its citizens. In per capita terms, the government is only budgeting to spend N772 on the health of each of its 3,497,502 population.

It gets worse when expenditure of the 2010 allocation is considered. While N1.7billion was allocated, as at September 2010, only a meager N149million had been used. This reflects only 9% utilization of the allocation. If this fiscal scenario is repeated in 2011 and in subsequent years, it will further alienate the citizens of Edo State from proper and affordable health care.


As very critical sectors in realizing the objectives of the administration, the low attention accorded these sectors by the Edo State Government is worrying. This argument is made on the backdrop of that the fact that during the same period, allocations for Overhead Cost for the vague items Department of Government House & Protocols (Head 412A), Office of the Governor (Head 412B) and Office of the Deputy Governor (Head 412C) which was N2.5billion had a performance of 75%, surpassing performance for Education, and performance in Health.



It is worthy to note that in comparison some other Niger Delta States, Edo State has proven outstanding in the availability of its budget document, and has also been the first to abandon the contentious practice of allocating money for ‘security vote’. While this is commendable, it should also be noted that the capital budget still allocates substantial funds to items such as ‘government house and protocol’ and to the State House of Assembly.

It will seem from the budget that the Edo State Government is fixated on urban renewal and construction of roads (though good in themselves), at the expense of other vital sectors of the economy. It is advised that a balance is created that will ensure even and all round development of all the sectors.