Friday, May 25, 2012

Nigeria: Can North survive without the South? Part 1 & 2 .......BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE, Deputy Political Editor

Nigeria: Can North survive without the South? Part 1
BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE, Deputy Political Editor
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
PIQUED by recurring acoustic remarks, especially from pro-South and southern leaders that northerners were lazy and the North had been sustained over the years by the South, northern leaders penultimate week said they could stand on their own if Nigeria broke up.
For close to two decades, there has been an intense clamour, predominantly by southerners, for restructuring of the polity into true federalism and devolution of more powers to the federating units. Protagonists of this clamour have argued that convening a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) for the ethnic nationalities of the country to dialogue and reach agreements on burning national issues was the surest way to restructure the country and halt Nigeria's worsening socio-economic and political decay.
However, antagonists of SNC said it was a recipe for breaking up Nigeria and countered that with democracy in place, the National Assembly could and has the power to amend the nation's code-book to spur the much needed development in the country.
Of late, the clamour assumed a higher gear following agitation by some northern leaders that the 13 per cent derivation accruing to oil producing areas should be reviewed to free more funds for the development of the North.
Fire of controversy
A host of northern groups and leaders including Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Malam Lamido Sanusi; Niger State Governor and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum (NGF), Dr Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu; the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and Dr. Junaid Mohammed decried the huge revenues going to the oil producing states located in the three zones of Southern Nigeria, especially South-South.
Some of them attributed the Boko Haram insurgency ravaging many northern cities, particularly North-East geo-political zone, to poverty arising from disproportionate revenue allocation to the North.
The northern demand drew the ire of some Niger Deltans, who demanded true federalism and 50 per derivation as was practiced in the First Republic. The government extended the 13 per cent derivation to cover other minerals as all states of the country have mineral resources that could be explored and exploited.
Remarkably, northern states have more mineral deposits than their southern counterparts (see table) but these resources have been grossly under-exploited or totally unexplored. Non-exploration of these resources have been partly attributed to easy and bulk money from Niger Delta oil resources (see table of revenue generation since 1970).
By projection, Nigeria currently has a proven crude oil reserves of about 37.2 billion barrels which at the current rate of exploitation (2.5mbpd) may be exhausted in the next 40 years unless new deposits are discovered. And 54 years of extensive oil exploitation has devastated the environment of the oil producing areas and hampered primary socio-economic and cultural activities of the inhabitants. In the last 20 years, about 2,000 persons have been killed in pipeline-related explosions and accidents in the region.
Indeed, a World Bank report warns that 40 per cent of habitable terrain in the Niger Delta area would disappear in 20 years if strong-willed re-mediation was not carried out. And the Federal Government admitted that 40,000 oil spills had occurred in the past 54 years of oil exploration.
A United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report, last August, criticised how the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) deals with the environmental damage it has caused in the Niger Delta, especially in Ogoniland. UNEP said Ogoniland needed the world's largest ever oil clean-up, which would cost an initial $1billion or N160 billion and could take 30 years.
The scenario has left a touchy question on the lips of many observers: If now that oil revenue is available the devastated areas cannot be cleaned, is it when the revenues cease that the task will be embarked upon?
A chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Management Consultant, Chief Cliff Mbagwu, has described the 13 per cent derivation as meager and urged a raise to address the environmental challenges and needs of the oil-bearing areas.
"Derivation should be looked into. Much as I don't believe in 50 per cent derivation, 13 per cent is too small. I think 25 per cent is ideal to enable all parts of the country to have funds to develop and the oil producing states to have enough funds to take care of the environmental problems of oil production. This is a federation; we need to be our brother's keeper. Those who are saying that 13 percent is too high are not being realistic. They are entitled to their opinion but I think such comments are essentially driven by empathy deficit and warped thinking," he said.
North: Parasitic arm of the country
The North has been at the receiving end of nauseating attacks from the South, especially the Niger Delta as the nation's weakest economic link and parasitic arm. The region is accused of harbouring huge unproductive population and large track of landmass that is adding little or nothing to the distributable revenue pool of the country.
Aside being the least productive part of the country (revenue wise), critics said the region had managed to control political power for close to 40 years of the nation's 52 years existence as an independent country to the detriment of the areas sustaining the country economically. Some southern groups at various times have dared the North to allow restructuring of the country to devolve more political and economical power to the federating units as was practiced at independence before the military unitarised Nigeria.
We are not gaining anything from Nigeria - Northern leaders
Countering, Northern leaders, penultimate Wednesday, berated their southern counterparts, saying they were not gaining anything special from the present arrangement of the country and could therefore stand on their own if the country eventually breaks up.
The Northern leaders, who met under the auspices of the Arewa Elders Forum, said that even though they could afford to survive in a divided Nigeria, they had resolved not to be the cause of the breakup of the country.
One of the leaders of the new group and former Special Adviser to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo on Food Security, Prof .Ango Abdullahi, told the Hausa service of the British Broadcasting Corporation that the North had always been on its own and would continue to survive without oil resources from the South.
Abdullahi, who was reacting to calls from southern leaders for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference, said that some people were hiding under the agitation to show to the world that they were tired of staying in a united Nigeria.
"We have resolved that we are not going to be the cause of Nigeria breaking up; but if others decided that the country should be divided, and they insisted that Nigeria should break up, we won't say no because we realized there is nothing we are getting from the current arrangement that other sections of the country are not getting," he said.
Asked if the North could stand on its own if the country breaks up, the former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria said that the North had always been on its own because "the poor in the North has always been on his own. He feeds himself from what he cultivates in the farms and feeds Nigeria up till tomorrow. It is possible if all Northerners would return to what their forefathers did through agriculture with which proceeds they built the North and Nigeria as a whole," Abdullahi said.
Indeed, some northerners had always insisted that in the late 50s and early 60s, Nigeria's oil industry was developed with funds provided by the North via proceeds from agriculture, especially groundnuts.

Nigeria: Can North survive without the South? (2)
BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE, Deputy Political Editor
on May 24, 2012
Continues from Wednesday

HOWEVER, Southern leaders have picked holes in the Northern leaders’ claim that the North built the country through agriculture.
According to them, as early as 1910, the two southern regions – East and West had always generated more revenues than the North, a major reason they said influenced the British amalgamation of Southern and Northern protectorates.
In an article, Structural Constraints to Socio-economic Development in Nigeria, published on November 11, 2007, Kayode Oladele said the increasing pressure to amalgamate Northern and Southern Nigeria in 1914 appeared to have been motivated by two socio-economic factors – to relieve the British treasury of financial burden, and surpluses derived from Southern Nigeria could be used to subsidize the North.
In furtherance of these, he said Mr. L. Harcourt, the then Secretary of State for the colonies, while addressing the British Parliament in June 1910 said: “In Southern Nigeria, the revenue has increased by £867,000 and the expenditure by £661,000 and there is for the current year (1910) an estimated surplus of £120,000…
Northern Nigeria has up to now been and still is a subsidized protectorate, but whereas in 1906, the Grant-in-Aid…was £315,000, in this current year, after providing for such interest, the Grant-in-Aid asked for is only £156,000 or less than half, and with the amalgamation ……
Grants in aid
I hope that we may be able to set a short term to these Grants-in-Aid and at the same time relieve the Treasury from its liabilities and the protectorate from Treasury control (House of Commons Debates, 29 June, 1910, Vol. 18 Cols 1036-8).
In his book Nigeria: The Tribes, The Nation or the Race? F.A.O. Schwarz showed how much each of the then three regions (East, West and North) got from the federal distribution pool between 1959 and 1962.
According to the book, while the former Eastern Region generated more revenues, it received the less from the distribution pool compared to Western and Northern regions. Then, revenue allocation was based on 50 per cent derivation, per capita distribution, population and balanced development among the regions.
For instance, in 1959-60 fiscal year, the North generated 5,396 million Pounds and got 12,124 million Pounds (69.2 per cent) from the Distribution Pool; West generated 4,273 million Pounds and received 15,417 million Pounds (78.3 per cent) while the East generated 5,341 million Pounds and got 9, 413 million Pounds (63.8 per cent).
In 1960-61, the North’s IGR nose-dived to 3,885 million Pounds but it got an increased allocation -13,775 million Pounds (78 per cent). Within the year, the West generated 4,294 million Pounds and received 16,250 million Pounds (79.1 per cent) while the Eastern Region’s IGR was 6,189 million Pounds and it was allocated 10,629 million Pounds (63.2 per cent).
Also, in 1961-62, the IGR/Allocation in millions of Pounds were: North, 6,333/15,504 (71 per cent); West, 6,031/16,307 (63.2 per cent); and East 7,274/13,390 (64.8 per cent. The East started getting a raise following improved oil exploration.
By 1963 after the creation of Mid-Western Region and increased revenue from crude oil, Schwarz said the money distributed came from two sources: 30 per cent of all import duties (other than the few mentioned in the table, which are transferred in their entirety to the regions, and the duty on beer, spirits, and wine, which was kept by the Federal Government) goes into a Distributable Pool Account.
So did 30 per cent of the royalties and rents received from mining enterprises, including oil wells. Then the money in the Distributable Pool was transferred to the regions in the ratio of 40 to the North, 31 to the East, 18 to the West, and six to the Mid-West.
Contribution of crude-oil and gas to Nigeria’s total export
The North’s contribution to the Distributable Pool of the Federation paled into insignificance from 1970 when crude oil became the chief revenue earner of the country. Throughout the decade of the 1960, the contribution of proceeds from crude-oil to total Federal Government revenue was of limited importance.
However, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Statistical Bulletin, Golden Jubilee Edition, December 2008, Nigeria earned N166 million from crude-oil in 1970 representing 26.1 percent of the total revenue. This jumped to N12.353 billion (81.1 percent) out of annual total of N15.233 billion in 1980.
By 1990 the contribution of oil earnings to total Federal Government revenue stood at N71.887 billion (73.2 percent) of total revenue.
In 2000, proceeds from crude-oil and gas contributed N1.591 trillion out of a total of N1.906 trillion representing 83.5 percent.
And the contribution of crude-oil and gas earning to total federal government revenue in percentage continued to hovered around 80 per cent except in 2007 and 2009 when it fell to 78 percent as a result fall in production and export resulting from political tension in the oil producing areas. In 2008, the figure was N6.530 trillion (82.9 percent) out of a total federally collected revenue of N7.868 trillion.
Amounts received by the three Regions of Nigeria from the Federation (in Pounds)
S/N ITEM Region 1959-60 1960-61 1961-62
1 Import Duty (Tobacco)
North 516,347 515,731 479,600
West 1,142,413 1,068,845 1,002,010
East 1,564,862 1,429,868 1,243,070
2 Import Duty (Gasoline)
N. 759,878 679,385 759,850
W. 1,350,459 1,179,871 1,988,350
E. 772,917 880,344 982,800
3 Import Duty (Diesel Oil)
N. 496,659 655,597 858,600
W. 402,759 611,270 802,950
E. 410,562 525,785 667,800
4 Export Duties (Produce, Hides, Skins)
N. 4,451,466 4,078,298 3,354,800
W. 8,447,011 7,488,591 5,658,710
E. 2,684,841 2,457,199 1,883,600
5 Excise Duty (Tobacco)
N. 1,449,433 1,522,640 1,881,890
W. 1,619,285 1,708,743 2,116,470
E. 500,601 388,956 479,600
6 Mining Royalties & Rents
N. 414,255 529,454 689,720
W. 79,247 114,919 1,326,200
E. 415,717 492,476 2,951,350
7 Distributable Pool (Mining)
N. 282,983 982,960
W. 169,983 589,780
E. 219,180 761,790
8 Distributable Pool (General Imports)
N. 3,654,671 4,993,662 5,431,580
W. 2,192,802 2,999,060 3,259,950
E. 2,183,370 3,868,119 4,209,470
9 Total Rounded off
N. 12,124,000 13,775,000 15,504,000
W. 15,417,000 16,250,000 16,307,000
E. 9,413,000 10,629,000 13,390,000
10 Sub-totals Regional Revenue (Federal + Internally Generated)
N. 17,520,000 17,660,000 21,837,000
W. 19,690,000 20,544,000 22,338,000
E. 14,754,000 16,818,000 20,664,000
Source: Adapted from Table 11.1 of Book by F.A.O. Schwarz (Nigeria: The Tribes, The Nation or the Race? MIT Press, 1965; page 206).
Distribution of solid minerals in Nigeria
State Mineral
Abuja (FCT) Marble and tantalite;
Abia Gold, salt, limestone, lead/zinc, oil and gas
Adamawa Kaolin, bentonite, gypsum magnesite, barites, bauxite
Akwa Ibom Clay, limestone, lead/zinc, uranimum (traces) salt, lignite (traces), oil and gas
Anambra Lead/zinc, clay, limestone, iron, lignite, salt glass-sand, phosphate, gypsum, oil and gas
Bauchi Amethyst (violet), gypsum, lead/zinc, uranium
Bayelsa Clay, gypsum, hignite and manganese, lead / zinc (traces), oil and gas
Benue Lead/zinc, limestone, iron-ore, coal, clay, marble, bauxite, salt, barites, gemstone, gypsum, oil, gas;
Borno Diatomite, clay, limestone, oil and gas (partially investigated) gypsium, Kaolin, bentonite;
Cross River Limestone, uranium, manganese, lignite, lead/ zinc, salt, oil and gas
Delta Marble, glass-sand, clay, gypsum, lignite, iron-ore kaolin, oil and gas
Ebonyi Lead/zinc, gold, salt
Edo Marble, clay, limestone, iron-ore, gypsum, glass- sand, gold, dolomite, phosphate, bitumen, oil,gas
Ekiti Kaoline, feldspar, taticum, granite, syenites
Enugu Coal, limestone, lead/zinc;
Gombe Gemstone, gypsum
Imo Lead/zinc, limestone, lignite, phosphate, marcasite, gypsum, salt, oil and gas
Jigawa Barities
Kaduna Sapphire, kaolin, gold, clay, serpentinite, asbestos, amethyst, kyanite, graphite and sillimanite, mica, aqua marine, ruby, rock crystal, 
               topaz, flouspar, tourmaline,gemstone, tantalite
Kano Pyrochlore, cassiterites, copper, glass-sand, gemstone, lead/zinc, tantalite;
Katsina Kaolin, marble and salt
Kebbi Tantalite, limestone and bitumen
Kwara Gold marble, iron-ore, cassiterite, columbite feldspar and mica
Lagos Glass-sand, clay, bitumen, sand tar, oil and gas
Nasarawa Beryl (omerald), acquamarine and bellodor, dolomite/marble, sapphire, tourmaline, quartz, amethyst (garnet) topaz, zircon, tantalite, 
                  cassiterite, columbite, limonite, galena, iron- ore, baryles, feldspar, limestone, mica, cooking coal, tale, clay, salt and chalcopyrite
Niger Gold, talc, lead/Zinc and iron-ore
Ogun Phosphate and clay feldspar
Ondo Bitumen, kaolin, gemstone, gypsum, feldspar, granite, clay, glass-sand, dimension stones, coal, bauxite, oil and gas
Osun Gold, talc, tourmaline, columbite, granite
Oyo Kaolin, marble, clay, silimanite, talc, gold, cassiterite, aquamarine, dolomite, gemstone, tantalite
Plateau Emerald, tin, marble , granite, tantalite/columbite, lead/zinc, barites, iron-ore, kaoline, cassiterite, phrochlore, clay, coal, wolram, salt,
              bismuth, fluoride, molybdenite, gemstone and bauxite
Rivers Glass-sand, clay, marble, lignite, oil and gas
Sokoto Kaoline, gold, limestone, phosphate, gypsum, silica-sand , clay, laterite, potash, flaks, granite and salt
Taraba Kaoline, lead/zinc
Yobe Diatomite and soda ash
Zamfara Gold
Source: Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals. Abuja (cited in Tell, July 11, 2005) and Multi-disciplinary Journal of Research Development Volume 9 No. 2 December, 2007

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