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Inefficient government spending blamed for below-average socio-economic growth in Nigeria

Analysts Data Services and Resources' Report Unveils Socio-economic Scorecard of Nigerian States

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Experts have pointed out that it’s inefficient government spending, not the amount of funds, that is impeding the socio-economic indices in Nigeria, according to discussions at a webinar where Analysts Data Services and Resources (ADSR) presented its report titled ‘Socio-economic Scorecard of Nigerian States (2023 Baseline Edition).’

The report, revealed on Tuesday, assessed the performance of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory across 12 socio-economic segments using 57 indicators. These segments include Economic Output, Government Finance, Financial Sector, Capital Importation, Land, Housing, and Sanitation, Transportation, ICT Infrastructure, Energy and Environment, Industrialisation and Business Competitiveness, Education, Health, and Citizens’ Livelihood and Welfare.

Dr. Afolabi Olowookere, the Managing Director/Chief Economist at ADSR, shared that the overall average of states across different indices was 45.65%, with ICT and Finance emerging as the best-performing segments at 58.31% and 51.96%, respectively.

Lagos, Oyo, and the Federal Capital Territory secured the top positions in the socio-economic scorecard, followed by Rivers, Kano, Ogun, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Edo, Osun, Ondo, Imo, Enugu, Kwara, and Cross River States. Yobe, Taraba, Zamfara, Ebonyi, Jigawa, and Bayelsa States were at the bottom of the scorecard.

While the national average was 45.65%, Lagos, FCT, and Oyo scored 62.5%, 58.9%, and 58%, respectively. Dr. Olowookere highlighted that industrialization is crucial for the country, and Lagos performs well in infrastructure but faces challenges in health.

Professor Bright Eregha of Pan-Atlantic University emphasized that leading segments are driven by the private sector, while poorly performing sectors are government-driven. He stressed the need for government efficiency and deliberate policies to drive real growth.

Dr. Seyi Vincent from the Nigerian Economic Summit Group highlighted the poor performance of the health sector, emphasizing the importance of effective spending. Economic development specialist Dotun Seyingbo noted that the indicators reveal room for improvement, urging states to move beyond benefiting from heritage circumstances to implementing deliberate policies for growth.

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