What does Borno’s economy tell us about Shettima’s competence?

Jul 20, 2022|Adesola Afolabi

Borno, one of Nigeria’s 36 states, is serenading news headlines because Kashim Shettima, its immediate past governor, has become a running mate in Nigeria’s next presidential elections.

Today, Bola Tinubu, APC’s presidential candidate and flagbearer, will officially unveil his choice for Shettima after announcing it on July 10 in Daura, Katsina state. The controversy behind both candidates is that they are Muslim despite the country having a population where 50% of people are Christians.

Key takeaways:

  • From 2008 to date, Borno has churned out one of the ten lowest IGRs among Nigerian states and depends on federal allocations for over 90% of its total revenue.

  • While Shettima governed, on four different occasions, Borno recorded the lowest and second lowest IGR in Nigeria. And before 2016, the state hardly generated an income of over ₦2 billion—roughly similar to what Lagos’ Lekki toll gate generates in 120 days. 

  • Borno’s internally generated revenue has taken a dramatic upwards turn since 2016 despite being one of Nigeria’s insecurity hotbeds. But this is due to an influx of humanitarian activities contributing to the state’s IGR growth.

While a Muslim-Muslim ticket has been heavily criticised, the reasons behind the choice will be full-blown by September 28, when campaigns officially kick off. However, Tinubu, the presidential candidate for the country’s ruling party, already said the choice for Shettima was based on prioritising competence.

Competence is not easy to assess. We've discussed whether it is even possible to tell if 'Governors are working'.

However, Shettima’s tenure in Borno can give us a small glimpse into the economic performance he delivered, even though he vacated office in 2019. One indicator, albeit imperfect, which we shall use is internally generated revenue (IGR), which has sharply increased since 2016.

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