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Governors’ missteps on managing economy

By Guardian Nigeria
15 August 2022   |   2:11 am
As a thick ominous cloud looms over the nation’s ailing economy amidst dwindling revenue, mounting debt servicing profile, unsustainable fuel subsidy regime, unprecedented depletion of foreign reserves ...

Nigerian Governors Forum

SIR: As a thick ominous cloud looms over the nation’s ailing economy amidst dwindling revenue, mounting debt servicing profile, unsustainable fuel subsidy regime, unprecedented depletion of foreign reserves and the palpable fear of flipping into another round of recession hang in the horizon, the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) has released a rather curious but controversial 33 ways out of the economic logjam the Federal Government has found itself.

Very often, it is the governors of the 36 states of the federation under the auspices of the NGF that readily jumps at proffering, albeit unsolicited, solutions on how best the Federal Government should go in taking key economic decisions when they are faced with dwindling allocation to their states. But ironically, it is this same rogue forum that has always advocated for sharing of whatever money that accrues to the Federation Account without giving a hoot to saving for the raining days. The appetite and penchant of governors to always share so that they can pay salaries and thereafter live a lifestyle of luxury and surplus have put us all in this precarious situation.

It is as a result of their unsustainable lifestyle, that many have alluded to the lack of development in the country today as the lethargy of these governors who run their states as emperors whimsical dashing out monies that do not belong to them has further retarded development across the country.

How does one explain a governor from the Niger Delta shuttling down to arid North West Sokoto State and making a donation of N500 million in the name of solidarity when that amount could serve useful purpose in his state, especially in paying pension arrears and fixing bad roads. It is time governors stop all these junketing and needless jamborees in chartered flights that serve only their egocentric interest.

The recent suggestions by the NGF, advising the Federal Government to sack all workers above 50 years of age and tax workers earning above N30,000 among others has  come as  another hypocritical statement from these notorious group who like biblical admonition, refused to remove the log in their own eyes before attempting to point at others.

Since 1999, few states have made significant strides in the area of development but what is common place is stories of monumental corruption and gross mismanagement of public resources. Governors with multiple idle aides and who have not attracted a single investment to their state join in the bandwagon of advising the Federal Government on how to manage the economy. When in real terms, many of the states don’t have anything close to an organised economy but more of rent sharing enterprises. Some states have over 40,000 unproductive workforce yet recruiting. The entire federal civil service is below 100,000.

To show their seriousness, governors should be more accountable to the people that elected them. The states are closer to the people than the Federal Government.
• Ibru Nejuvie is an Asaba based journalist .

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