By Chukwudi Nweje, Lagos
The 36 state governments have been charged to make conscious efforts towards growing their economy, natural capital, human capital and governance if they hope to free themselves from the web of dependence on federal allocations.
Dr Ayo Teriba, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Economic Associates, gave the charge at the January 2021 edition of the Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies (CIAPS), round table tagged “Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability of Nigerian States”, hosted in Lagos via zoom at the weekend.
Dr Teriba said every state in Nigeria had the potential to be viable, but regretted that poor leadership has inhibited them from creating wealth.
‘Every state in Nigeria has the potential for being viable, it is just about having the right leadership that can identify how to generate wealth. Too little is being done by states to generate investments and no Nigerian state has a portal dedicated to attracting and guiding investors. Too little is being done by states to generate investments and that no Nigerian state has a portal dedicated to attracting and guiding investors,’ he said.
Mr Philip Isakpa, Executive Director Businessnewscorp, who spoke on the Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability of States, regretted that many individuals and businesses focus more on the Federal Government rather than look at the states and what they are doing. He urged that the state governments be equally interrogated as much as the federal government is.
Earlier in his remarks, Director of CIAPS, Prof Anthony Kila, said the tying of grants to fiscal responsibility will allow citizens and businesses to know and access which states were doing well and which were doing badly.
He charged the media and other observers to investigate and provide information on the performance of states in terms of economic management and fiscal responsibility. ‘We need to know who are the performers and who are the benchwarmers,’ Kila said
In her remarks, Ms Yemi Kolapo, Editor In Chief at The Point Newspaper, said that even as the media strive to provide information on the economic performance of states, they should ‘be careful to make sure that states are actually doing good things and they are not just working the books to get funds.’
The CIAPS round table which had representatives of the 36 states governments and beyond was organised to encourage states to explore ways to boost their internal revenue-generating capacities and cut down their dependence on Federal Government allocation.