From: Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin-City
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, at the weekend, decried the over-dependence of state governments on allocations from the Federation Account, for running their affairs.
Rather, Amode urged his counterparts to concentrate on their comparative advantages for self-sustainability.
The governor made the assertion while delivering a convocation lecture entitled “Recession: Challenges and Recovery Prospects” at the Wellspring University, Benin City, Edo State capital.
He said the nation is blessed with human and natural resources which trickle down to the states saying when properly harnessed, would lessened the burden on the federal government and make the component states economically viable.
“The current focus on the center for the economic sustenance of states is not sustainable. Each states or perhaps more appropriately, regions must figure out its own economic path by focusing on the areas it has comparative advantage and developing it. This calls for hard work by the state governments and thinking outside the box.
“We cannot have a stable economy when the states are not independently viable. Luckily, we are blessed in this country where arguably every state of the federation is endowed with natural resources that can make it self-sustainable”, he said.
He said each states should look inward and focus on its areas of peculiarity and possibly partner other states to achieve a set target.
“Regional collaboration should also be encouraged, a good example is the collaboration between Lagos State and Kebbi State to produce Lake rice which is currently being sold in the market.
The governor who was represented by the commissioner for finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, said the nation was plunged into recession following the incessant vandalization of oil facilities by militant and the over concentration on crude oil as a major source of revenue instead of diversifying the economic.
“This is was the direct consequence of significant economic headwinds following the adverse shock to the oil price that started since mid 2014 and more recently significant production shortages following pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta region and because oil is the may revenue base of the government, the entire system went into comatose”, he said.
He noted that there are indications that the nation is gradually moving away from recession but its citizens must not relax as it is not yet uhuru but should do everything possible to sustain the progress achieved thus far.
The Lagos boss pointed that if much attention is not made to sustain the progress, there is possibility for the nation to fall back to economic recession.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. F. E. Obi Ikediugwu said the lecture was apt considering the current economic situation of the country. He urged the students to internalize what they have been taught in the lecture.
The convocation chairman, Prof. Patrick Igbinovia, Dean, College of Social and Management Sciences noted that the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has made his marks in governance and worthy of emulation.