Wednesday, July 20, 2016

We're responsible for Nigeria's economic crisis - Gov Amosun

Gov.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.

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