‘Why FG must convey Economic Summit now’
A lawmaker in the Osun State House of Assembly, who represents Obokun Constituency, Mr. Olatunbosun Oyintiloye has emphasized the need to convene a national stakeholders’ economic summit that would permanently address the inability of several states of the federation to pay salaries and other economic issues.
The lawmaker also called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency bail out the states that are battling with unpaid salaries as part of intervention “to stabilise the economy.”
While expressing concern over the sorry state of the country’s economy, which he said needs urgent attention, Oyintiloye said, “To address the situation, the Federal Government should converge high level stakeholders’ conference to include all tiers of governments, labour unions, financial institutions, multi national organisations, among others, to address the situation and proffer long term solutions to the lingering economic problem.”
He said parts of the issues to be discussed at the summit must include action plan on diversification of the economy from mono-economy, which is dependent on oil, by taking full advantage of the agriculture and solid mineral potentials.
He stressed further that the challenges facing the country at present and those affecting the states are beyond salaries but that the fundamentals of the nation’s economic would have to be addressed.
Said he, “There is the need for bail out and after that, we must go back to the drawing board and find ways to re-arrange programmes, projects and implementation of policies.
As we all know, the Nigerian economy takes its breath from oil and the moment oil suffocates, everything in the country suffocates with it. “It is high time the nation changes from this oil hand out orientation, if this nation looked inward, to survive economically.” Oyintiloye also recommended the creation of special fund to be tagged ‘State Economic Development Fund’ to be devoted to economic ventures of products in which states have comparative advantage, such as agriculture, logistics, mining and others.
“For instance, a state that can plant cocoa or cassava could be assisted with such fund, which could form part of equity in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project aimed at long term sustainable source of state revenue. “Also, a framework for involving the international investors could be worked out.
This model will facilitate diligent monitoring and applications of such funds,” he said. The lawmaker described the workforce, especially that of the State of Osun, as very committed to the actualisation of government’s lofty programmes and objectives. According to him, “The present situation should not be politicised for selfish reasons.
Osun State workers are beautiful component of government programmes, they translate policies to common advantage and functions to protect common interest in education, health and others. They are not an addendum; they have been cardinal to the success of good governance.”
The lawmaker however noted that the state government through series of its developmental programmes, has been pursuing common good, promoting common wealth and has not shy away from protecting common interest.