Posted by News Express | 20 July 2016 | 2,672 times
State Governors are responsible for Nigeria’s economic problems due to their poor leadership, lack of vision and creativity, says Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State.
Amosun said the nation’s present economic crisis was traceable to the inability of the 36 states’ governors of the federation to evolve workable policies to address the challenges facing their people.
Governor Amosun, who passed the damning verdict on his colleagues, affirmed that if the governors had the capacity to think outside the box, the economy would not have got this current worrisome level.
Amosun stated this on Tuesday when he hosted the organised private sector to a breakfast meeting at the Government House, Isale Igbein, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
He observed that the governors did not prepare for the trying period, adding that instead of looking inwards to generate revenues to develop their states, they were complacent and relied largely on allocations from the Federation Accounts.
Governor Amosun told his audience that the “era of free money from Abuja” had gone, noting that the development had made governors endangered species before their people.
He charged his colleagues to see the huge fall in Nigeria’s revenue due to the global crash in oil prices as an opportunity to “think out of the box.”
The governor said he would have preferred that the oil price in the international market did not rise beyond its current level – so that Nigerian leaders could start thinking big and placing the interests of the people first.
Amosun declared that cheap oil revenue had made Nigerians lazy, stressing that the way forward was a strong partnership between the public and the private sector so that the nation’s economy could be revitalised.
The governor said: “When there are challenges, people are forced to think out of the box and they will get results. If I have my way, I don’t want the oil price to rise beyond what it is so that all of us will be forced to get it right.
“You will notice that before the advent of oil, when our forebears were in leadership, Nigeria was better than what it is now but the people opted for quick money and that has landed us into trouble,” he said.
On the bailout funds given to the states by the Federal Government to clear the backlog of workers’ salaries, Amosun said that the “largesse” had compounded the problems for the governors.
He said: “Since we were given bailouts, governors have become endangered species because people believe that they collected this (bailout) money and cannot pay salaries because they have mismanaged the money.
“Do you know why? Everybody was so complacent. People would just say ‘no problem, allocation is coming from Abuja’ and wouldn’t think out of the box and when the money stopped flowing, because we didn’t prepare for it, crisis came.
“Now everybody is down. For us to surmount these challenges, we need to work with the private sector by creating the enabling environment for the operators to do business,” Amosun said.
The governor, who promised to provide more infrastructures in the state to create more jobs, disclosed that the Federal Government has approved N123 billion as refund to his administration for the fixing of federal roads.
At the meeting, the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Tunde Lemo, urged Amosun to embark on fiscal consolidation by cutting down on the state’s expenses.
He also advised the governor to return missionary schools to their owners in order to take the expenses of running the schools off the treasury. (The AUTHORITY)
•Photo shows Governor Amosun.
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