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States must prioritise revenue generation to be competitive – experts

Public finance experts and business analysts have urged states to focus more on internal revenue generation rather than waiting on the Federal Government to allocate funds to them.

They observed that each of the Nigerian 36 states has the potential for being viable, adding that it is about having the right leadership that can identify how to generate wealth.

Discussants at the January 2021 CIAPS Roundtable organised by Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies (CIAPS) also stated that Nigerian states need to do more in terms of budgeting, revenue, debt management and fiscal responsibility.

The roundtable event chaired by Anthony Kila, a professor of strategy and development, comprises of financial experts, chief executive officers, media professionals who gave insights on the topic “Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability of Nigerian States”

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Ayo Teriba, chief executive officer, Economic Associates, in his presentation at the event noted that too little was being done by the 36 states to attract investments. Teriba stated that no Nigerian state has a portal dedicated to attracting and guiding investors.

He listed the economy, natural resources, human capital and governance as the four levers that the states need to push on to generate revenue.

Yemi Kolapo, editor-in-chief, The Point Newspaper, observed that while the performance conditioned grant was a good thing, it was necessary to ensure states are actually doing good things and they are not just working the books to get funds.

On his part, Phillip Isakpa, executive director Business a.m news observed that generally too many individuals and businesses are focused on the Federal Government instead of looking at what states are doing.

Isakpa agreed with Anthony Kila that tying grants to fiscal responsibility was good and would allow citizens and businesses to know and assess states that are doing well and those doing badly.

He called on Nigerians to be more vigilant and get involved with what states government are doing.

The Federal Government early January disbursed N123.34 billion performance-based grant to eligible states under the World Bank-supported states fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability (SFTAS) programme for results.

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