Yari to incoming Governors: Prepare for another round of recession

....Says Borrowing not the best way to go....Debts not sustainable

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Vice President Yomi Osinbajo on Monday charged newly elected and returning Governors to Strategize on strengthening internally generated revenue, just as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum NGF, Abdulaziz Yari charged them to prepare for another round of recession.

Both the Vice President and the outgoing Zamfara Governor stated these while speaking at a program initiated by Presidency and the Nigeria Governors Forum to induct the newly and returning Governors”

Yari, berated Federal Government for spending over N2 trillion yearly, seeking for oil across the country , but noted that if such money is added to government N200b anchor borrower program, it will go a long way to boost agriculture.
He advised government to increase budget for agriculture, adding that “ the amount is inadequate if we are to satisfactorily address the issue of food security”
“ If one third of the amount was dedicated to agriculture and mining, the state of the economy would have been different by now”

Yari urge government to reticulate the policy on industrialization and ensure improved power supply to meet the nation’s target of joining the league of 20 most industrialized nations.

“ This scenario is a wake up call for all to come amply prepared to face these kinds of challenges especially as we are expecting the possibility of another cycle of recession by the mid 2020 and which may last up to the quarter of 2021”
Yari who noted that internally generated revenue IGR is nothing to write home about, urged the states to look inward in boosting revenue generation.

“ It is imperative that the Governors Forum , under my Chairmanship, and the National Economic Council, have agreed that borrowing is never a reliable alternative to solving economic problems.

“ We must work hard among all the tiers of government to multiply our revenue generation bases so that we change the course of doing government business fir the betterment of our people”

Osinbajo also advised the Governors to reduce their over dependence of federal government adding that dwindling revenue at the center has made it difficult for the federal government to continue its bailout policies

“We must confront the problem, not merely by hoping that the Federal Government can do more, because that may not necessarily offer much hope. Already, our deficit is close to N2trillion, while debt service to revenue is somewhere in the order of 54%.

He stated that States must in the next few years, earn more in IGR, while the federal government will strengthen capacity of the revenue generating agencies

“We must more effectively collect VAT and increase our agricultural output, work with the Federal Government to make broadband infrastructure available all over the country, so our young people anywhere in the country can do jobs from anywhere in the world, from their villages in any corner of Nigeria.

“We must confront the problem, not merely by hoping that the Federal Government can do more, because that may not necessarily offer much hope. Already, our deficit is close to N2trillion, while debt service to revenue is somewhere in the order of 54%.

He criticized states for over prioritizing IGR over very important projects with strong multiplier effect for the economy and its citizens.

According to him , “If a State is charging for right-of-way from communications companies and is hindering the laying of cables and other broadband infrastructure as an IGR measure, permit me to say that that will be penny wise and pound foolish.
“To tap into the millions of jobs in technology and other services that a country like India, for example, has tapped into, requires broadband infrastructure across the country.

“There is no other way of doing that except by dropping the idea that we can benefit on just the laying of cables and providing infrastructure. We must as a whole, allow a situation where broadband infrastructure is available everywhere. All the governors at the National Economic Council have all agreed on a pathway to make this happen.

Both the NEC and federal government also assured that they will allow effective collaboration with State governments; a major plank in that collaboration is Community Policing.
This involves more practical collaboration between the citizens, civic groups, traditional institutions and the Police.

“As Mr. President has said, maintaining security is the first order of business for us as Chief Security Officers at the Federal and State levels. We must work together and seek even more creative ways of making our country completely safe for its citizens. I must commend the excellent support that Governors have been giving the Police and Armed Forces posted to your various States. I know that large amounts of money are voted practically every month in support of law enforcement and security.

Osinbajo also charged NEC to look at how to effectively fund security in their domain

“This has to be collaboration between States, the Federal Government and the Private Sector. I know that several Private Sector organizations and individuals are keen to contribute in one way or the other to funding law and order and security infrastructure in our country and I am sure working together working with NEC, we can do a lot more than we are doing at the moment.”

 

Tony Ailemen, Abuja