Nigeria, others owing UN dues
Lagos: As the United Nations begin to examine its financial books in planning for its annual budget, details of member-states payments of dues have emerged. Nigeria is among the countries still behind in remitting their regular budget dues to the world body up-to-date. According to the UN Department of Management's details released on Tuesday (following a presentation to the UN 5th Committee on Monday afternoon), while Nigeria is among the 143 UN member-states who have paid their regular budget dues up as at end of last year, only 92 members have paid up as at May 7 this year, excluding Nigeria.
Indeed, the UN disclosed that there has been an increase in Member States' unpaid assessed contributions, at the end of 2011, nonetheless the cash situation of the UN had improved.
Similarly, money owed by the UN to Member States had also declined slightly, according to Warren Sachs, who represented the UN Department of Management before the United Nations Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) on Monday afternoon, during a presentation on the Organization's financial situation.
Sachs who is currently the top official in the department said "with the gains made in recent years, there has been a steady increase in the number of Member States demonstrating their commitment to the Organization by meeting their financial obligations in full at the time of the final situation presentation."
Sach, the Officer-in-Charge of the Department of Management, presented detailed financial information on the UN regular budget, UN peacekeeping operations, the international tribunals and the UN Capital Master Plan.
He said there is a significant level of outstanding membership assessments/dues that remained and most of them about 95 per cent was owed by the United States, Mexico, Spain and Venezuela. Nigeria is among the those who owe the balance of 5%.
Sachs said however that the final outcome for 2012 UN finances would depend in large measure on whether countries in arrears paid up.
Unpaid assessed contributions stood at $454 million on 31 December 2011, up $103 million from 31 December 2010, he said. But at the same time-ie ending of last year 143 Member States, including Nigeria had paid their regular budget assessments in full, up from 138 in 2010.
Interestingly while Nigeria is yet to pay its UN regular budget dues as at this month, nor its financial contributions to the peacekeeping budget as at ending of last year - the actual amounts of both were not available yesterday -, the UN is also owing Nigeria about $31m in unpaid fees for the country's contribution to UN troops, police and peacekeeping equipments.
But other countries in Africa like South Africa, Burkina Faso, Niger and Tanzania were listed as having paid up their peacekeeping financial dues as at the end of last year.
One area however, Nigeria has fully paid its dues to the UN up-to-date-ie as at this month, is the UN Capital Master Plan, according to details released yesterday
Indeed UN's financial position continued to show encouraging signs of progress, according to Warren Sach, the UN official who spoke at the ongoing 5th Committee meeting at the UN headquarters in New York. The Committee was continuing its meeting yesterday Tuesday, 22 May, to discuss the Board of Auditor's performance audit, special political missions and the international residual mechanism.
He said as of 7 May 2012, total unpaid assessments were $600 million lower than one year ago across all categories, although some peacekeeping operations were still affected by cash shortages, which in turn hampered payments to countries that contributed troops to those operations.