Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has asked state governors to think and plan like countries so they can be financially viable and stop depending solely on the funds allocated to them from the Federation account.
Osinbajo said this when he spoke at the Leadership awards which took place in Abuja yesterday May 24th.
“This conversation about creating financially viable states should therefore be viewed through the lens of the medium to the long term. There will always be the temptation to prioritize raising Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) at all costs. If this is done in a manner that stifles today’s entrepreneurs and investors, then clearly there will be a great price to pay down the line. So, it is clear that Governors have to think beyond four or eight year cycles. There must be a commitment to laying a foundation that our successors will build on, and for successors to be ready to build on foundations laid. One of the challenges with governance in Nigeria today is that penchant for dismantling or dismissing everything inherited. President Buhari insisted when we assumed office that we must ensure the completion of projects started but abandoned or uncompleted by previous governments before starting new ones. Our problem, of course, in our country, is not in new ideas or starting projects, it is the lack of rigour and discipline to complete projects and to maintain them.
Our States must think plan and act as countries, and why not? Ten of Nigeria’s States with the highest GDPs have higher GDPs than over 15 African countries. In fact, I was saying the other day, that if you look at Rwanda, which is a country that is celebrated in Africa, the GDP of Lagos State is almost four times the size of Rwanda’s GDP.
Thinking like a country means planning like one. And I think that one of the most important things for states to do is to begin to think and plan like countries do. And we cannot wait for constitutional reforms that may be required for further devolution to the states. We must act whether or not there is this reform. In many cases, states have control of some of the resources that can make a tremendous difference in the way that they operate” VP Yemi Osinbajo says