From: Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The poor ranking of Delta State in the sub-national competitive index has been attributed to the low financial accrual to the state from the federation account following increased rate of militancy and pipe vandalism.
The National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN) had scored Delta State low in Nigeria’s first sub-national competitiveness index in its overall ranking on the operation of the state’s economy.
Delta State came out a distant 23rd out of a total of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, according to NCCN. It placed Lagos State at number one position with Rivers State, Sokoto and Kebbi States coming second, third and fourth respectively.
NCCN stated that the states were judged on the operation of the economy that has to do with access to finance, state finances, business registration and tax.
Explaining the poor performance of the state in the operation of its economy, Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Kingsley Emu also blamed it on the mono nature of the state economy which has resulted on over dependence on oil revenue.
Emu who was flanked by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah told a press conference in Asaba that most of the oil companies shut down and fled the state in the height of the militancy.
“In the economy, Delta State was rated 23rd. The bane was state finances and mono-economy. Most of the oil companies shut down and fled the state, the ports became shadows of themselves. Delta state was affected by the militancy that culminated in pipeline vandalism,” Emu stated.
However, Emu noted that while the state lost in terms of the operation of the economy, it gained in other parameters used in judging all the states, explaining that in the overall sub-national index ranking, Delta came second behind Lagos Rivers and Niger placing third and fourth respectively.
He said ranking Delta State in the second position in the the overall rating is indicative that the state under Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is working, “irrespective of what propagandists would say. Delta State is working, and would continue to work.”
Delta State made a remarkable showing in the area of Human capital that included education, health, migration and gender equality by clinching the first position, followed by Osun, Enugu, Edo and Ekiti states.
On infrastructure development, the report places Rivers state in the first ranking position, followed by Lagos, Akwa-Ibom, Edo with Delta in the fifth position, while in the area of institutions, with security, transparency, justice, corruption and permits as parameters, Niger state is ranked first position, followed by Zamfara, Katsina, Jigawa, Sokoto, Bauchi with Delta placing seventh in the ranking.
NCCN with offices in Lagos, stated that its first sub-national competitive index is the culmination of a two-year research into the factors that drive competitiveness in Nigeria’s 36 states and the FCT.