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5 things we learnt from the States internal revenue data released by NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently published Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) at State level for the Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019.

The internal revenue for all 36 states and FCT hit N1.33 trillion in 2019 compared to N1.17 trillion recorded in 2018.

This represents a growth of 20.92 percent year on year in nominal terms, indicating that the States economies were beginning to see much needed rebound from the lows of the 2016 recession.

States usually get their revenues needed to fund budgets from two sources, FAAC allocations from the Federal Government, largely made up of oil income and VAT revenues, and internal taxes or IGR.

With oil prices falling to as low as $12 per barrel in 2020, the importance of IGR for states cannot be over-emphasised.

Here are the 5 key things the data reveals:

Lagos is tops for internal revenue, Taraba came last

Lagos state has the highest Internally Generated Revenue with N398.73 billion recorded in 2019, closely followed by Rivers with N140.40bn while Taraba State recorded the least Internally Generated revenue.

Delta State is the most exposed to oil

Delta State received the largest share of FAAC allocations in 2019, with earnings of N219.28 billion. It had internally generated Revenues (IGR) of N64.6 billion, equivalent to only 4.85 percent of total States IGR or N1.3 trillion.

States Revenues vie with MTN Nigeria’s

MTN Nigeria reported total revenues of N1.2 trillion in 2019 which is about 90 percent of the N1.3 trillion reported by all 36 states and FCT as IGR for 2019.

This shows the power of private enterprises as well as the need for states to broaden their tax collections through the effective use of technology.

Behold the less than 1% percenters

Thirteen states had IGR that was less than 1 percent of the total IGR of N1.33 trillion.

This shows the abysmal state of economic activity in some states as well as the probability of bankruptcy in the event that FAAC allocations fall significantly.

The States are Adamawa (0.73%), Bauchi (0.88%), Borno (0.61%), Ebonyi (0.56%), Ekiti (0.64%), Gombe (0.51%), Jigawa (0.97%), Katsina (0.64%), Kebbi (0.55%), Nasarawa (0.81%), Niger (0.96%), Taraba (0.49%) and Yobe (0.63%).

Northern States are too dependent on FAAC

Out of the less than 1 percenters or those with the lowest IGR, Northern States are the most vulnerable to oil revenues and FAAC allocations from the centre.

Eleven of the thirteen with the lowest IGR are States in the North, the data shows.

Payroll taxes are the largest source of IGR

The Pay as You Earn (PAYE), also known as payroll taxes are the largest source of IGR for states. In 2019, PAYE was equivalent to N809.3 billion or 60.7 percent of all IGR.

This was followed by other taxes at N225 billion, MDA revenues at N221.5 billion, Direct Assessment at N47.6 billion, and Road Taxes at N30.2 billion.

This goes to show the importance of a thriving private sector in States.


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