Nwodo seeks alternative revenue sources to solve economic crisis
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, John Nnia Nwodo, has canvassed alternative revenue sources to solve the country’s economic crisis.He spoke in Enugu at the 32nd anniversary and homecoming of the Alumni of the Faculty of Management Sciences of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT).
Nwodo said the existing trends shows that the country was in serious crisis, adding that it would worsen if the economy was not diversified beyond oil and gas.He lamented a situation where the Federal Government was now borrowing to fund capital projects, while state governors rely on bailouts to
pay workers’ salaries.
According to him, the situation might worsen as other countries look beyond oil to drive their economies. About 20 alumni of the institution, who have distinguished themselves in various fields, were honored at the event.
They included the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Director of Public Affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Tony Ojobo and the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi.
He said: “Our country is in a state of crisis. All of us following the trend in the last two years would see that the external debts have continued to increase.”
“Against this background, by 2024, some of the machines using oil would no longer be there. As I speak, the U.S.A does not import oil from Nigeria and seven years from now, oil revenue would fall drastically. That means that state’s recurrent expenditure would fall.”
He expressed concern that only seven, out of the 36 states could pay workers’ salaries from their internally generated revenues without borrowing. Nwodo explained that when the country practiced regionalism, it introduced competitive spirit among the federating units. Institutions and establishments were built to contribute to the growth and improved revenue sources of the regions.
“When we had the regional government, production was the key. We produced oil, we built the first iron and steel, the Emene Iron and Steel Company, which is presently a ghost of itself.
“The Nkalagu Cement Factory is also today a ghost of itself. We built the second largest brewery in Nigeria, called the Golden Guinea Brewery and the cotton industry, which exported produce to the whole world, all of which have disappeared,” he said.
He also cited the oil mills that were built in every outlet in Igboland, including the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.According to him, the day-old chicks, eggs, lettuce,cabbage and carrots, which were available at the university, are no longer there.
Nwode also lamented that buildings are today being erected in villages as status symbols, without people living in them, unlike in China where such facilities are used as factories to manufacture essential goods.