Self Driving Uber Kills Woman In Arizona

A self driving Uber has killed a woman crossing the street in Arizona, marking the first fatality involving an autonomous vehicle.  This might become a major issue because the self-driving technology was developed to reduce road accidents and deaths.

The ride services company said it was suspending North American tests of its self-driving vehicles, which are currently going on in Arizona, Pittsburgh and Toronto.

The so-called robot cars, when fully developed by companies including Uber, Alphabet Inc and General Motors Co, are expected to drastically cut down on motor vehicle fatalities and create billion-dollar businesses. But Monday’s accident underscored the possible challenges ahead for the promising technology as the cars confront real-world situations involving real people. U.S. lawmakers have been debating legislation that would speed introduction of self-driving cars.

“This tragic accident underscores why we need to be exceptionally cautious when testing and deploying autonomous vehicle technologies on public roads,” said Democratic Senator Edward Markey, a member of the transportation committee, in a statement.

Elaine Herzberg, 49, was walking her bicycle outside the crosswalk on a four-lane road in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe about 10 p.m. MST Sunday (0400 GMT Monday) when she was struck by the Uber vehicle traveling at about 40 miles per hour (65 km per hour), police said. The Volvo XC90 SUV was in autonomous mode with an operator behind the wheel.  Herzberg later died from her injuries in a hospital, police said.

The pedestrian was outside of the crosswalk. As soon as she walked into the lane of traffic she was struck,”Tempe Police Sergeant Ronald Elcock told reporters at a news conference. He said he did not yet know how close Herzberg was to the vehicle when she stepped into the lane.  Elcock said he believed Herzberg may have been homeless.

The San Francisco Chronicle late Monday reported that Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir said that from viewing videos taken from the vehicle “it’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway.” (  Moir told the Chronicle, “I suspect preliminarily it appears that the Uber would likely not be at fault in this accident,” but she did not rule out that charges could be filed against the operator in the Uber vehicle, the paper reported.

The “Tempe Police Department does not determine fault in vehicular collisions,” the department said in a statement late Monday, in reply to questions from Reuters about the chief’s comments. “Ultimately the investigation will be submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for review and any potential charges.”  Tempe authorities and federal officials are still investigating the incident. Canada’s transportation ministry in Ontario, where Uber conducts testing, also said it was reviewing the accident.  Volvo, the Swedish car brand owned by China’s Geely, said the software controlling the car in the crash was not its own.  Video footage will aid the ongoing investigation, and the case would be submitted to the district attorney, Elcock said.

“Our investigators have that information, and they will be using that in their investigation as well as the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office as part of their investigation,” said Elcock. “They are going to attempt to try to find who was possibly at fault and how we can better be safe, whether it’s pedestrians or whether it’s the vehicle itself.”


Ajimobi Inaugurates Multi-Door Courthouse

As a measure of enhancing and facilitate quick administration and resolution of civil disputes as well as boosting the confidence of the organized private sector in the state, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, on Tuesday inaugurated the Multi-Door Courthouse.

Ajimobi while speaking at the inauguration of the special court for the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at the premises of Oyo State High Court, Ring Road, Ibadan, explained that the Multi-Door Courthouse was one of the steps been taken by his administration to modernize the state and restore its pace setter status.

He noted that in spite of the claim by the state of being a pace setter in the country, the reality is that Lagos State, which is less than three hours drive away, has not only overtaken the capital of the old western region, it is 25 years ahead of Oyo State.

He recounted that since the inception of his administration in 2011, he has “worked assiduously to nip in the bud, the rampant thuggery and hooliganism that characterized the state, by ensuring solid foundation of peace, security and massive infrastructural development”, adding that his administration has also introduced and implemented many initiatives that are gradually restoring the state to its pace setter status.

His words, “We will make sure we make Oyo State a modern state. Look at Lagos State, it takes an average of one to three hours to get there depending on the traffic. Lagos state is 25 years ahead of Oyo State. We pride ourselves in pacesetter status, it has gone. We are no longer the pacesetter, but we are only trying to bring it back and I’m happy that with today’s commissioning, we are bringing back the pacesetter status.”
He, however, stated further that his administration has been working to change some perceived attitudes that are anti-development, saying “we thought we should change the attitude because attitude will determine altitude. We are changing attitude in Oyo State, especially attitude of dependency in order to ensure that we transform this state to a modern state.”

The Chief Judge of the state, Justice Munta Abimbola, in his address a new administration of justice had just begun in the state promising to use same to ease the task of justice system.

He said, “A new dawn begins in the administration of justice in Oyo State. We shall use it to ease the task of justice system.

“We shall make do all the enablements offered us to enhance and bear in justice delivery in Oyo State. We shall partner with Negotiation and Conflict Management Group (NCMG) and the ADR Society to ensure success in the adaptation and use of this alternative.”

Commissioner for Justice in the state, Mr. Seun Abimbola, in an earlier remarks stated that the multi-door court would be a wholesome complement to the Citizen’s Mediation Centre at the Ministry of Justice, “which had been earlier repositioned by this administration, and now on annual basis handle between 700 and 800 cases, with an 80 per cent success rate in resolution.”

The facilitator of Multi-Door Courthouse in Nigeria, Mr. Kehinde Aina, also noted that the special court has capacity to attract the organized private sectors and other investors to the state.

NACA To Establish HIV/AIDS Trust Fund

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has initiated the process to establish an HIV/AIDS Trust Fund, the Director-General, NACA, Dr Sani Aliyu has disclosed.

Dr, Aliyu, who was speaking on Monday at the 4th National Council of AIDS meeting with a theme: “Making our money go further: Improving Efficiency of HIV service Delivery,” said the establishment of the HIV/AIDS Trust Fund is in agreement with the resolution of the last council meeting.

The NACA director general said the Trust Fund would be private driven, where private organizations and individuals will contribute to the fund.

While commending the donor agencies and partners, he pointed out that enormous work has been done within the HIV response since the last council meeting.

He stated that individual, organizational and collective efforts have accounted for the successes recorded and the improvement that has been seen.

Specifically, he acknowledged the contributions of the United States Government, the Global Funds and the World Bank; adding that NACA has gone through a restructuring process to reposition the agency to increase her effectiveness in coordinating the HIV response in Nigeria.

According to him, there is a global evidence in support of the interventions adopted and applied in delivery of HIV services.

He said: “However, we need to make our money go further, by exploring ways to increase our efficiency in the delivery of these services. The theme of the 4th NCA is a call to improve the efficiency of our services across the continuum of HIV care from prevention, to treatment and care services.

The United States (US) Government Representative, Shirley Daddy said as donor funding tightens, Nigeria must find ways to be more efficient, “to make our money work harder, and to achieve more with less.”

She pointed out that this has been their theme at the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) over the past several years.

According to her: “From our perspective, there are several reasons why this may be a positive development. First, a more efficient programme will be more sustainable, second, it will be more cost-effective once the Government of Nigeria takes over the programme at all levels and third, we will be able to locate and peace 150,000 more people living with HIV on live-saving treatment in the coming year, which is, of course, our overarching goal.”

She promised that the United State Government will continue to work with stakeholders to find sustainable ways to support HIV testing and counselling.

Zambia Bans Cabinet Minister From Parliament For Slapping Lawmaker

Zambia’s parliament suspended a cabinet minister on Tuesday from its proceedings for one month for slapping a fellow lawmaker within parliament grounds.

Verbal abuse is common among members of parliament in Zambia but physical assault is rare.

Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini said Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo was suspended for slapping outspoken lawmaker, Chishimba Kambwili, in October 2017.

Mr. Kambwili has repeatedly accused government officials of corruption since his dismissal as information and broadcasting minister in November 2016 but the state denies the allegations.

Mr. Kambwili complained after the incident that Mr. Lusambo had slapped him twice after accusing him (Kambwili) of making false accusations against the government.

Mr. Matibini said Mr. Lusambo was banned from entering parliament grounds and using its facilities during the period of suspension and would not be entitled to any allowances.


Customs Intercept N2.5bn Contraband In March

The Federal Operations Unit, Zone A of the Nigerian Customs Service on Tuesday said its officers have intercepted various contraband with a duty paid value of N2,557,261,280.6 only from 1st to 19th of March, 2018. Addressing newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday, Controller of the Unit, Compt.

Mohammed Uba explained that the seized items include: 16 Exotic vehicles mostly 2017 model, 7,201 bags of foreign parboiled rice (12 trailers), 1,172 cartons of frozen poultry products, 1,352 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 72 bales of used clothing, 464 pieces of used tyres, 407 sacks of Pangolin scales, and 629 pieces of textile Ankara Material among others.

According to the FOU, Zone A Controller,”After an intensive onslaught on daredevil smugglers deploying our tactical operational modalities, we have intercepted various contraband with a duty paid value (DPV) of N2,557,261,280.6 only from 1st to 19th of March, 2018.

“Remarkably, among the seizures was the interception of 8 trucks laden with 3,351 bags of rice and 669 jerrycans of vegetable oil along Iseyin, Oyo/Osun Axis and also the evacuation of 1,253 bags of rice (50kg each) from a warehouse in Ogbomosho based on credible intelligence despite resistance.

“You will recall that the ban on the importation of foreign rice through the land was to encourage efficiency in local production. Therefore, the need to support the Federal Government policy on Rice, encourage local rice farmers, the millers and patronize our own nutritional rice cannot be overemphasised.

“Among the detained vehicles include 2 Lexus Jeep (RS350 2016,2017 model), 1 Rolls Royce, 1 Lincoln Limousine (2014), 3 Toyota Camry(2009,2013 and 2017 models), 1 Toyota Rav 4, 1 Toyota Avalon (2016) 1Toyota Tundra, 1 Dodge among others. These 16 exotic Vehicles alone have a duty paid value of N340,770,509.055 only.

“While 6 vehicles were evacuated based on intelligence along Lekki Epe Expressway, the remaining 10 were intercepted while on information patrol at various locations. The vehicles are still under detention pending the grace period allowed for the owners to bring relevant Customs document.

“Also, 407 sacks Of Pangolin Scales weighing 10,263kg were evacuated from an apartment at 64 Opebi Road, Off Toyin Street, Ikeja Lagos within the weeks under review with a duty paid the value of N2,094,243,456.69. In the spirit of inter-agency cooperation, the pangolin scales and the suspect will be handed over to Nigeria Environment Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA) for further investigation in collaboration towards protecting our natural habitat and protecting our endangered species.

Five suspects have been arrested in connection with these 89 seizures. “Let me still use this opportunity to thank the Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service for appreciating us with a commendation letter and providing necessary logistics that brought about this feat.

We are very determined to ensure sustenance of this laudable sterling performance by making sure we give economic saboteurs a run” for their money.”

Nigerian Troops Capture Gunrunner In Southern Kaduna

Troops of Nigerian Army arrested a notorious gun runner and recovered two AK 47 assault rifle with 38 rounds of 7.62mm special while on clearance operation at suspected armed bandits’ hideout in Rigachikun general area of Kaduna State on Thursday, Brigadier General Texas Chukwu, Director Army Public Relations has said in a statement.

He added that due to criminal activities taking place at the Rigachikun forest and environs the Army place high surveillance in the general area to deny criminal freedom or operation.

“The success recorded so far is a proactive measure taking by the Army to dominate the general area and fish out criminals that are carrying out kidnapping, armed robbery, and cattle rustling,” Chukwu added.

SPECIAL REPORT: Top 10 Roads In Osun

By Nofisat Marindoti

The world over, the purpose of every government is to provide basic facilities that will make life more abundant, bearable and comfortable for the citizenry.

And so with infrastructure, the things people see, cherish and make use of that helps them, contribute to their success and ensure life is more meaningful for them.

One of the priorities of the present administration in the State of Osun led by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is infrastructural projects particularly road construction.

Since its inception seven years ago, Ogbeni Aregbesola has continued to construct roads both at the rural and urban areas of the state.

Considering the fact that Osun is the most urbanized state in Nigeria, and that infrastructure especially roads are key to the economic growth of the state, Aregbesola has moved beyond criticism and brought a new face to the State of Osun.

With over 400km of rural and urban roads completed and still counting, the wind of change can be felt in all nooks and cranny of the state, Osun Defender however brings you the top ten roads in the State of Osun under Rauf Aregbesola;

1. Ola Iya/ Odi Olowo Road (Workers Drive)

The popular Olaiya junction sits in the capital of the state “Osogbo”. This is a junction in the heart of Osogbo that leads to various ends of the state.

Shortly before the exit of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola from office as Governor of the state, traffic lights were introduced to some major junctions in the state capital. One of such junctions was the Orita Ola Iya/ Odi Olowo Junction. Other points within the state capital were the Old Garage Roundabout and the Oke Fia Roundabout. It was initially conceived that the congestion of the time was due mainly to huge vehicular movement in and out of the city.

The emergence of Aregbesola, a trained and seasoned Mechanical Engineer, tested and trusted, in the saddle of governance discovered other concrete causes of this unnecessary congestion and created ways to tackle it.


Now apart from being modernly handled to tackle congestion, the road now nicknamed “Workers’ drive” commemorating the workers of the state for persevering with government during the financial quagmire that affected the satte from paying salaries as and when due, has been reconstructed, widened, giving the state capital the first beautiful impression about the generality of the state.

2. Adebisi Akande Gbongan Trumpet Inter-Change Bridge

This road comes second in our list, we are sure any body that sees the beauty of the bridge will give kudos to the Governor. The Governor had attributed the need to checkmate avoidable deaths of innocent people along Ibadan/Ife expressway as the major reason that prompted his government to construct the interchange bridge, named after the former interim national chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Chief Abdulkareem Adebisi Akande.

Aregbesola had expressed optimism that the newly completed bridge that conjoins Ibadan/Ife/Gbongan/Osogbo dual carriage road, would go a long way in halting auto crashes that he said had claimed over 1,000 lives at the Gbongan junction.

3. November 27 Interchange Bridge

This bridge is another beautiful achievement of the administration, the bridge which leads into the state capital, Osogbo was named “November 27” in commemoration of the day the Governor was sworn-in in the year 2010 after a protracted legal battle. November 27 Interchange bridge also serves to break the bottleneck of traffic congestion along the state secretariat in Abere and Ola-iya junction of Osogbo, the State capital.

Asides that, the bridge forms part of the ring road that connects the entire Osogbo metropolis. The bridge links the Ebunoluwa end of the Osogbo/Iwo road and as well as the Ilesa Garage end of the road that saves travellers to Ilesa the burden of going through the Osogbo metropolis.

4. Old Garage – Ikirun to Kwara State Boundary Road

When the contract for the road project was awarded in 2013, many doubted the capability of the administration that had for many years battled with finances to complete such capital intensive project in the spate of three years.

At the Old Garage end from Oke Fia; just after the level crossing, there also is the presence of traffic lights. But these traffic lights were not just the panacea to the myriads of problems militating against residents and passers-by of our roads. The Aregbesola administration wielded the magic hands, as it saw the timely need for broadening of the roads.

Today, the road has been broadened to ease off traffic for those exiting toward the old MDS area without unnecessary delays and hiccups.

Currently, the road has been completed to a stretch not far from the Alamisi Junction in Ikirun, a feat many thought would not be achievable. But with ONA BABA ONA himself, the road is now a reality with many of his traducers testifying to the quality of the job done.

5. Osun East Bypass a.k.a. Ring Road

This road had been in existence since the time of military administrators in the state. It was however brought to the present level of conceptualization by the administration of Chief Bisi Akande. The road, stretching from the Mobile Police Headquarters Junction /rare of Osogbo City Stadium to link the Osogbo-Iwo Road at Dele Yessir area spans between 15 and 20 kilometres. It also presents a stretch of good motorable roads to motorists who intend to avoid the hustle-bustle of the township traffic. This, to a large extent, serves to reduce traffic congestion of the state capital.

6. Osun West Bye-Pass, Ebunoluwa Bridge

The Ebunoluwa Bridge passes over the Ebunoluwa area providing a lease of life for those living in the area to move to other areas of the town.

The bridge aside its thickness has a strong culvert and speed breakers that controls over speeding from motorists that may want to optimize the good texture of the road to over speed.

The bridge gives a facelift to the bye-pass as traffic is smooth and gives road users from the end an opportunity to reach locations like Ogo-Oluwa, Abeere, Owode Ede in a short time without necessarily going through Oke-Fia, Dada Estate or Awosuru area of the capital.

7. Osun West Bye-Pass, (Osun Groove Bridge)

Bridges are essential to the structure of roads. And so it is with the Osun Groove Bridge along the Ilesa road end which the November 27 Interchange Bridge connects.

The bridge connects the Osun Groove area with the Fountain University end through to Oke-Ijetu, Ilesa Garage to Owode end of the expressway.

With the road nearing completion, it leaves to the beauty it presents to make the entire township connect easily and freely without necessarily going to the heart of the state capital where traffic builds up easily during the weekdays.

8. 10km Roads Per Local Government.

One of the legacies the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is leaving behind is the construction of 10km of roads in all the 30 local government areas of the state.

The roads cut across major areas in the local governments.

Some of the roads were constructed by the previous administration in the state but were reconstructed as a thing of necessity when those roads could not stand the test of about 2 to 3 years.

A cross section of the 300km council roads built across all Local Governments Areas in the state of Osun
A cross section of the 300km council roads built across all Local Governments Areas in the state of Osun


Shows some of the 21 selected roads (26.40km) in Osogbo Township in the State of Osun newly commissioned by Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Monday 28-04-2014
Shows some of the 21 selected roads (26.40km) in Osogbo Township in
the State of Osun newly commissioned by Governor Rauf Aregbesola on
Monday 28-04-2014

During the commissioning of the roads which are township roads in April 2014, Governor Aregbesola said the roads constructed by RATCON Construction Company will stand the test of time for 15 years. The 310 kilometers are there for everyone to see.


One of the 21 selected roads (26.40km) in Osogbo Township in the State of Osun newly commissioned on Monday 28-04-2014. Inset: Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola acknowledging cheers from the crowd during the commissioning.
One of the 21 selected roads (26.40km) in Osogbo Township in the State
of Osun newly commissioned on Monday 28-04-2014. Inset: Governor State
of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola acknowledging cheers from the crowd
during the commissioning.

9. 222km Rural Roads

The State Government has also constructed 222 kilometers of roads in the rural areas.

The roads were assisted through the World Bank, European Union and The French Government Under the Rural Access Mobility Project “RAMP”.

The rural roads have helped farmers transport their farm products to the market and boosted their income generation.

new osun roads under construction


According to Governor Aregbesola during the Workshop for Local Government Information Officers in March 2017, the rural roads have connected every rural settlement in the State of Osun.

The second phase of the project is ongoing.

10. Special Intervention/Rehabilitation of Roads

At every point in time of this administration, the government of Aregbesola has intervened in the rehabilitation of bad portion of some roads.

Portholes have been filled. Bridges have been reconstructed while bridges have also been made. One of those special intervention projects is the reconstruction of the Rasco bridge in Old Garage area of Osogbo.

The bridge that has for a long time been dilapidated and been in a situation where the whole area is ravaged by flood during the rainy season. As it stands, the bridge has been renovated and provided a platform for a big drainage to be erected in the locality.

Aside the Rasco Bridge, the Okoko Bridge linking Kajola Area to Oke-Ayepe area in Osogbo and the Modakeke drainage have been rebuilt all in a bid to prevent flood.

The drainages, culverts and potholes rehabilitated have given quality to these roads and enhanced the rate at which longevity will be placed on these roads.

In Osun, Rauf Aregbesola has changed the story of road construction and with these ten roads and more, the State of Osun is open to the round of economic activities that is part of the solid foundation laid by his government for the next 50 years of development.

Super Eagles Camp In A Great State  

The training camp of the Nigerian National Football team, the Super Eagles, was agog on Wednesday with invited players arriving in camp and participating in the first training session.

The Super Eagles  on Friday take on Polish national team at the Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw, Poland, come March 23.

According to tweets from the official Twitter handle of the Super Eagles (@NGSuperEagles), among the early arrivals to camp on Wednesday were: Troost Ekong, Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina, Tyronne Ebuehi, Brian Idowu and Leon Balogun.

They were followed by Francis Uzoho, Elderson Echiejile, Stephen Eze, Joel Obi, Shehu Abdullahi, John Ogu, Moses Simon, Kenneth Omeruo.

Later in the day, the team announced the arrival of Odion Ighalo, Ogenyi Onazi, Uche Agbo and Ahmed Musa to the camp.

This brings the number of players in camp to 18 as others are expected to arrive later.

One of the players invited by coach Gernot Rohr for the friendlies against Poland and Serbia, Shehu Abdullahi, said he was delighted to be invited.

“I’m delighted to have received an invitation for the friendlies against Poland and Serbia. It’s a great honour to represent my dear country! Thanks, @thenff, Gernot Rohr and my fans in Nigeria.”

The pre-World Cup friendly match between Nigeria and the Polish national team, who are ranked 8th in the recently released FIFA Ranking, will kick off on Friday at 8:45 pm Nigerian time.

The Super Eagles will then take on the Serbian national team on Tuesday, March 27 in London.

Okupe Dares Sagay To Release Full Pay Of NASS Principal Officers

An aide to the immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan,Dr  Doyin Okupe, has dared Prof. Itse Sagay, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), to, within 24 hours, carry out his threat to reveal details of the running cost of the principal officers of the National Assembly.

Okupe, however, asked Sagay to also reveal the running cost of President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, ministers, special advisers to the President, and other top government functionaries including himself.

Sagay had declared that he would soon make public the monthly earnings of the leadership of the National Assembly.

He said the N13 million allowances being received by senators is only a tip of the iceberg as Nigerians will be shocked when he releases details of the allowances of the principal officers.

Reacting however, Okupe challenged Sagay to give correct figures about the running cost of all top members of the Buhari government, pointing out that each day he failed to carry out his threat, his credibility will continue to wane.

He said in a statement, “I find the threat by Professor Sagay on allowances and running cost of the leadership of the National Assembly very interesting. It will aid our fight for transparency in public affairs. However, he should not be selective. For us to take him seriously, he should include the details of the running costs of the office of the President, Vice President, Ministers, Special Advisers, heads of Government agencies, parastatals and even himself. Afterall, all the salaries, allowances and running costs come from the same public coffers.

“He should tell the world how much he is paid, how much he spends on his numerous junketing abroad, his allowances, honoraria and others, including the ones paid for by international donor agencies.

“For Prof. Sagay to say that the country would explode if he gives out certain figures is inciting, particularly, at a volatile and tensed period as we have now in the country. I believe the President owes this country a duty to call this man to order.

“It will also be interesting if Sagay can tell Nigerians what the achievements of his committee are in the last 30 months that it has been using government money. Or is the committee set up just for the purpose of abusing and attacking the National Assembly?

“With the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) rating recently released by Transparency International (TI), it does appear that Sagay’s committee has neither helped Nigeria nor the President who set up the committee and funded it with tax- payers’ money. Mr. Sagay should sit down with members of his committee to work seriously in developing position papers and policies that will actually help the anti-corruption war and make it more effective. This will by far be a much more dignified job than rabble-rousing and witch-hunting of institutions and personalities in the country.”


FRC: Lagos, Osun, Cross River’s Debts Exceed Revenues By Over 480%

The debt status of most states of the federation exceeds 50 percent of their annual revenues. For 18 states, the debt profiles exceed their gross and net revenues by more than 200 per cent. Lagos, Osun and Cross River states record over 480 per cent debt to gross revenue.

The Fiscal Responsibility Commission, which stated this in its 2016 Annual Report obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Monday, said the development was contrary to the guidelines of the Debt Management Office on debt sustainability.

According to the guidelines, the debt status of each state should not exceed 50 per cent of the statutory revenue in the previous 12 months.

The report stated, “In the light of the DMO’s guidelines on the Debt Management Framework, specifically, sections 222 to 273 of the Investment and Securities Act, 2007 pertaining to debt sustainability, according to the guidelines, the debt to income ratio of states should not exceed 50 per cent of the statutory revenue for the preceding 12 months.”

However, an analysis presented in the FRC report showed that most states flouted the directive. In fact, the debt status of many states exceeded the debt to revenue ratio by more than 100 per cent. The analysis was based on the debt profile of the states as of December 31, 2016.

The states with the highest debt to gross revenue ratios were Lagos (670.42 per cent), Osun (539.25 per cent), Cross River (486.49 per cent), Plateau (342.01 per cent), Oyo (339.56 per cent), Ekiti (339.34 per cent), Ogun (329.47 per cent), Kaduna (297.26 per cent) and Imo (292.82 per cent).

Others were Edo (270.8 per cent), Adamawa (261.96 per cent), Delta (259.63 per cent), Bauchi (250.75 per cent), Nasarawa (250.36 per cent), Kogi (221.92 per cent), Enugu (207.49 per cent), Zamfara (204.91 per cent), and Kano (202.61 per cent).

The debt to net revenue ratio of the states puts some of the states in even more precarious situations. The debt to net revenue of Lagos, for instance, is 930.96 per cent, while that of Cross River is 940.64 per cent.

The only states whose debt did not exceed the 50 per cent ratio by more than 100 per cent are Anambra, Borno, Jigawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and the Federal Capital Territory.

The debt to revenue ratio is very important in debt analysis as it can give an indication of the capacity of the debtor to service and repay the debt.

However, the FRC noted that it should not be concluded that a state had over-borrowed because its debt to revenue ratio was more than 50 per cent.

The report stated, “It should be noted that the fact that some states exceeded the threshold of 50 per cent of their total revenue is not an indication that they over-borrowed as the debt limits of the governments in the federation are yet to be set.

“Furthermore, only total revenue is used for the foregoing analysis as comprehensive data on the states’ Internally Generated Revenue were not available. In any case, the IGR on the average is not more than eight per cent of the states’ total revenue except for Lagos State. In essence, the non-inclusion of the IGR may not distort the result of the analysis.

“Therefore, there is a need for each of these states to work towards bringing their respective consolidated debts within the 50 per cent threshold of their total revenue in order to guarantee a general public debt sustainability in the country.”