Nigerian Government Expenditure In West Africa
Since most of the countries had their independence in the late 1950’s and the 1960’s, these West African countries included Nigeria.Since the independence of these nations, their budgets have been increasing every year after year. This trend reflects in the increase in the expenditure of the government.
The following reasons have been given to account for the general increase. Nearly all the governments in this region have been forced by the increasing populations to increase the existing social infrastructure. As a result, a lot of money has been used to expand existing schools, hospitals; water works etc, in the countries.
The growth of population has not only exerted pressure on the need for social services, it has in many countries resulted in an increase in the crime rate. This, therefore, has caused the governments to spend more for the maintenance of law and order. Related to it is the need to police the country’s borders and to ensure that the countries are defended in times of war, the internal insurrections of external threats.
Consequently, the government are spending a lot of money to maintain modern armed forces. In fact the government spending on the forces has risen that if it is not curbed in some of these many countries, it may ruin the rest of the region’s economy. The general trend in the increasing inflation in the industrialized countries and within these regions has also led to the increased government expenditure.
As a result of the inflation, the governments of these developing Nations have had to spend a lot of money to acquire the goods needed for the people. In some of these countries the problem has been compounded by the corrupt practices of “kick backs” from contact awards, it will be safe to say that corruption has contributed negatively more than can be quantified.
Some countries are worst offender in this regards of corruption, it got worse after the 80’s and the early 90’s, and this has affected government spending and has also lead to borrowing to meet up with their budget. The governments also have to spend more now because all of them have no maintain their interest abroad, and to contribute towards the upkeep of international transitions to which they are members. The continued depopulation of the rural agrees has also meant an increase in the cost of maintaining the urban centres.
To keep the rest of the people in rural areas, the government is forced to provide facilities like water, good road, and electricity while in the cities they are forced to expand existing facilities. Most of the countries in this region have incurred many loans from internal financial institutions and also from external sources. These loans must be repaid and so today, much of the revenue is going to the serving of the loans in terms of public expenditure. Lastly, since the government have decided to be full partners in development efforts, their share of expenditure on running industries etc has been increasing.
Government Expenditure And General Administration
The expenditure of the government is not lumped together. It is normally shown under different headings. This is usually the following main groups;
- General Administration – Such expenditures like the general administration covers for all the money spent on the running of the civil service (government workers); the money spent on defence and the maintenance of law and order in the system or the country as the case may be.
- Social And General Community Service – This is money spent on education, health facilities, recreational facilities, public housing, refuse collection, drainage etc. All these activities help to improve the lot of the citizen of the country.
- Transfer – Most of the expenditure under this heading leads to a redistribution of incomes in the country. However, it does not lead to any direct productive or manufacturing activity in the country. Examples are the social benefits, unemployment in the industrialized countries, pension payments etc. In addition, it includes interest payments in the national debt.
- Economic services – This item shows the money the government intends to spend on industry and commerce. Included under this item are the expenditure on agriculture, road construction, communication, trade and industry, the housing sector etc.