BusinessDay

Don’t blame FG alone over Nigeria’s economic downturn

As Nigerians begin to feel the impact of the economic downturn, Ita Solomon Enang, senior special assistant on National Assembly (Senate) Matters to President Muhammadu Buhari, says the blame should not be heaped on the Federal Government alone.

Enang says it is a mark of irresponsibility for states and local governments that cannot meet it social contract with her citizens to blame the Federal Government for their failures.

 “The harsh economic situation is not a creation of the Federal Government. States and Local Government should take the blame when they fail to pay salaries, and provide other social services expected by the citizenry.

“Nigerians should know that when revenues are generated, they are channelled to one source, that is, the Federal Government joint account. After 30 days, whatever money is generated is shared to the three tiers. The federal government only takes a certain percentage, as well as the States and Local Government Councils. The onus now is on citizens of each State and local government to ask their Governors and Chairmen where they keep their share of the allocation.’’

Speaking in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, Enang, a former senator, said the Buhari administration’s economic blueprint was focusing on boosting the local manufacturing sector, employment creation, agriculture and education aimed at stimulating the manufacturing sector.

“We have adopted a policy that supports modular refineries for refining of crude oil. There are vistas for employment in sectors as education, security and agriculture,’’ adding that emphasis was also on agriculture as key to diversifying the economy.

Enang debunked claims that there were two versions of the 2016 appropriations bill submitted to the National Assembly by President Buhari, adding there was no case of missing budget; no padding in the budget as some persons wanted Nigerians to believe.

“We can recall that when the issue came up, the President wrote to the National Assembly and owned up that the version of the budget before the legislature was the one he submitted,’’ he said.

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