Governors express worry over dwindling federal allocations
He said diversification of the economy is however not an immediate solution as it is a “long term programme”.
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) made the declaration on Wednesday, April 27, at a closed-door meeting led by the Governor of Zamfara state, Abdulaziz Yari.
Yari, who spoke to newsmen after the meeting, said that the Governors convened to discuss “intensively” about the economy, as they are all groaning in pain.
“If you look carefully at this month’s federation account, it’s the worst ever in the last six years, so definitely we had to come to a round table,” he said.
“We were elected under different party platforms to perform, not just to pay salaries. It is worse not to be able to pay salaries, so the issue is very, very serious that we are coming back to discuss it and if we have the opportunity we will come back to see our leader, Mr. President.”
Yari further said that the Governors want not just bail-outs, but a permanent solution to the problem.
“We are looking for a short term formula for you to live, at least survive before the long term. So on diversification, we are looking on agriculture, which is supposed to be the major focus long time ago but has been neglected by the past administrations,” Yari said.
“Now that we found ourselves in this situation we are working harder to diversify the economy and to look forward to a more permanent solution should oil go out of existence but at the same time we have to look for a short-term solution.”
In his comment, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, said that he is comfortable that “everybody is concerned about the dwindling economy and we must as leaders of this country come together to find solutions and I agree with all the positions”.
The Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Udom Emmanuel, noted that current economic crisis is not peculiar to Nigeria but a global issue.
“It’s a global issue, so you can’t just at one meeting of about two hours fashion out entire solution for the country. We troubleshoot some points, we discuss those points and we have to weigh the impact of those points both the positive, negative, the extreme, the mid-point,” he said.
The N299 billion shared from the federation account for March 2016 is regarded as among the lowest in the 4th republic.
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