ERSTWHILE Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Rev. Tunde Lemo, yesterday, recommended five nuggets for President Muhammadu Buhari to put the nation’s economy on the path of sustained growth and inclusive development, revealing how former governors were opposed to Federal Government’s decision to save excess crude revenue. Speaking at the 61st annual Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria National Conference lecture, entitled: The Nigerian Economy:
The Past, Present and the Future, the former CBN deputy governor said past state governors had on several occasions arm-twisted the executive, insisting that revenue accruing from oil should be immediately shared among states, instead of saving it in Excess Crude Account initiated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
According to Lemo, the five suggestions for the way forward include restructuring, including fiscal consolidation; diversification of the economy; lifestyle changes and inclusive growth; investment in infrastructure and competitiveness, stressing that the road ahead was certainly rough. Noting that the problems the country is currently facing are not insurmountable, Lemo said:
“During some of the Federal Executive Council sessions, where I was present, the issue of saving funds generated from the sales of excess crude came up, but most of the governors at the time firmly opposed the idea. “They opposed it so that more money could be available to fund many bogus budgets at state levels, often arguing that there was no need for saving for the rainy day, since, as some of them said, the day was already rainy. “They insisted that the funds be shared among the states. Unfortunately, it greatly depleted the funds the Federal Government tried to save.”…Read more