Okowa Urges FG To Diversify Economy, Commends Buhari On Bailout To States | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Okowa Urges FG To Diversify Economy, Commends Buhari On Bailout To States

Posted: Oct 5, 2015 at 6:43 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Felix Igbekoyi, Asaba


Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has urged the Federal Government to diversify the nation’s economy.

Okowa spoke Monday in Asaba during the official opening of a two-day retreat on “Evaluation of Current Issues Emanating from the Federation Account”, organised by members of the FAAC Post-Mortem Sub-committee.

He said diversification would serve as a parameter in contending squarely with the economic, political and social realities of contemporary Nigeria.

Okowa also noted that, following the current downturn in the nation’s economy, the state government was placing emphasis on internally-generated revenue as the key to financing budget and other activities in the state.

He called on states and local governments in the country to begin to exploit agriculture, tourism and solid mineral resources as economic avenues relevant at propping up their revenue base.

The governor, represented by the Commissioner for Finance, David Edevbie, noted that the three tiers of government cannot, at this particular time, compromise the diversification of the economy in the face of dwindling revenue receipts from oil and gas.

“The decline in oil receipts has its associated consequences as it has made the three tiers of government, particularly the states and local governments, to suffer significant funding gaps, making budget implementation difficult.

“Today, most states and local governments owe workers’ salaries. Here developments accentuate the clamour for a review of the revenue allocation formula in favour of the states and local governments.

“Let me, however, commend the Federal Government on the recent bailout to states. This effort of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari,  in guaranteeing and protecting the provision of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, which required that all federal revenues are paid into a single treasury account is a welcome development,” Okowa said.

Earlier in his keynote address, Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Elias Mbam, underscored the import of the retreat, which he said would come out with workable recommendations to the various levels of government for implementation.