Governors propose plans to improve Nigeria’s economy

Timothy Choji, Abuja

Governors of the thirty six states of Nigeria have met with President Muhammadu Buhari to brainstorm on how to move the country out the current economic challenges.

After a careful consideration of the matter, President Buhari agreed to put in place both short and long term plans that will help stimulate the economy.

President Buhari then agreed to inaugurate a special committee that will help actualise the plans.

Addressing State House Correspondents after the meeting, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Abdulazeez Yari, said the current economic situation was x-rayed and the need for taking urgent steps to improve it was highlighted.

Moratorium

“The states are the landlords, we own the land, … so at the meeting, we listed some plans that can be used by the federal government to restructure the economy ranging from short to medium and long term plans, which we presented to the President and he graciously accepted. For the short term, we are looking at a situation whereby we will be able to access some of our funds that have been hanging since 2005, from the Obasanjo regime’s exit from the Paris club and we requested for a moratorium of eighteen months from the bailout funds which we had already started paying” he explained.

Yari, who is the Governor of Zamafara state, Northern Nigeria, said part of the solution was to look at the revenue sharing formular in order to allocate more resources to the states.

He said state governments need to be reimbursed for moneys they have spent on federal government projects.

“We have spent some monies on the construction of roads and airports that are projects of the federal government. We need a refund. Our responsibilities are so many we need more money to develop our states, not just to pay salaries,” he said.

The Governors’ Forum Chairman also said the unstable situation has made it impossible for states to save, as what they get as revenue was not enough for managing their areas.

Present at the meeting were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Lawal Babachir.

Nnenna.O