In its 2021 State-of-the-states Report released recently which reflected on the states’ performance in the year 2020, Gombe State, the Jewel in the Savannah ranked 7th out of the 36 states of the country by getting higher score points in the fiscal performance index owing to sound economic policies and good governance of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya (Dan Majen Gombe).
Gombe State beat all Northern states with the exception of Kebbi and Kaduna which came 5th and 6th respectively. Where Rivers, Ebonyi, Anambra and Lagos topped the list.
The report said, “despite the distortion of COVID-19 pandemic to local economies and government revenues worldwide, Gombe State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) witnessed a +25.50% year-on-year increase from N6.80 billion in 2019 to N8.54 billion in 2020”.
BudgIT noted that Gombe State pruned its operating expenses by -22.8% from N42.88 billion in 2019 to N32.62 billion in 2020, with its overhead cost component experiencing the greatest cut of -47.16% from N9.89 billion in 2019 to N18.72 billion in 2020. This, the report said, has contributed immensely to the State’s improvement in fiscal performance in the 2021 Report.
Recall that the Inuwa Yahaya administration came to power when Gombe State was overwhelmed with debt to the tune of about N119 billion comprising of bonds, external and internal debt which the state government services every month despite the meager allocation it gets from the federation account. BudgIT revealed that, “as at December 31st 2020, Gombe’s total debt stock was N98.86 billion, making it the 25th most indebted in the country; with N84.97 billion Naira domestic and $36.55m foreign debt.
“The state spent N13.92bn on servicing internal loans and N616.68 million on servicing external loans in the 2020 fiscal year”, the report affirmed.
Despite the economic downturn and the debt burden, the organisation expressed confidence in the economic policies of the incumbent administration in Gombe State under Governor Inuwa Yahaya, asserting that “Gombe state is moving in the right direction when it comes to blocking leakages of government revenues.
“In 2019, the state recorded improvement in 3 critical disbursement linked results under the SFTAS programme indicators (TSA, Biometric data capture for state payroll and BVN), the state can go even further by implementing a procurement law recommended by SFTAS to improve procurement practices”, the report maintained.
Agriculture value chain, mineral exploitation, industrialisation and Public-Private Partnership, which Governor Yahaya give more credence to have also been identified by BudgIT as sectors capable of sustaining Gombe State on the right tract of economic development.
BudgIT is an independent civic organisation driven to make Nigerian Budget and public data more accessible and understandable across every literacy span. The organisation releases State-of-the-states Report annually to give accurate and reliable information about the true fiscal conditions of all the states in the federation.