Bailout: States Should Be More Judicious With Funds –Basorun | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Cover Choice, POLITICS

Bailout: States Should Be More Judicious With Funds –Basorun

Posted: Jul 12, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Olorunfunmi Basorun was the Secretary to the Lagos State Government in the Lateef Jakande era. Prior to this, he was an official of the Central Bank of Nigeria. In this interview with AUGUSTINE ADAH, he says the bailout would be a plus to the economy. Excerpts…



Do you think the governors need a bailout, judging by the way they managed their resources in the past nine months?

The bailout is going to be a plus to the economy because they are some states which have not contributed anything to the growth of the economy in the past eight months so the bailout would afford them the opportunity to make their positive contribution to the economic growth of the country. I heard some people saying that some states governors were not prudent in the management of their resources, therefore they should not enjoy such facility.

But I don’t believe that because of such reason some states that are in dire need should be denied.  The bailout is a wise decision by the government coming from the profit made from the sale of gas. Not many people in the past knew that Nigeria generates such income from the sale of gas, so it is a good thing that we have such saving to bail us out this time. The only thing I want to suggest is that the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) Trade Union Congress (TUC) and other Labour organisations, including the government, should be involved in monitoring the money to be distributed so that at the end of the day they would not be report of diversions of such funds.

The ongoing trials of some ex-governors by the anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), should send signals to those governors who have such plan of diverting the money that the present government has no tolerance for corruption.  They should know that EFCC which appeared to be sleeping in the past seems to have woken up from slumber.

Imagine a former governor would remain in prison until almost the end of September this year because he was involved in financial fraud and money laundering.   I read in the paper today that a state in this country generates about N1.5b as internally generated revenue in a month, if you multiply that by 12, it gives you N18b in a year while a state like Lagos generates over N30b in a month. How then do you expect such state to compete with Lagos in many areas? I would advise such governors to limit their expenses according to their income. I would be surprised to see such a state that generates about N18b per annum thinking of buying jets and living a luxurious life like states that have huge revenue income.   We must learn from how American states plan their programmes according to their size and income. All states in Nigeria must cut their cloth according to their sizes. It is not right to embark on a particular project because other states are executing the project, knowing very well that the resources of the state cannot carry such project effectively.