Governors Express Worry Over Economy

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BEVERLY HILLS, April 28, (THEWILL) – The Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF), has expressed worry over the continued dwindling state of the economy and the resources accrued to the states from the federation account.

The NGF, which comprises the Governors of the 36 states of the federation, led by Abdulaziz Yari, Governor of Zamfara state, declared its fears after its meeting on Wednesday night.

Speaking to journalists after their closed-door meeting, Yari declared that the Governors had observed that they were in very bad situation and need to come together and discuss about the economy.

“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.

“We want a permanent solution, not just bail-outs. The diversification is a long term programme.

“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.

“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.”

THEWILL recalls that the N299 billion shared from the Federation Account for March 2016 is regarded as among the lowest in the 4th republic with deductions deferred to avoid some states receiving negative allocations.

Also speaking, Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom state, ‎said that solutions and policies must align with the socio-cultural environment in order to achieve the desired result.

“Once you are bringing out certain policies, you also need to align those policies with the socio-cultural environment that you are operating in, what may work in this part of the world may not work in other parts, even though it is a good policy,” he said.

“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.”

Story by David Oputah