A call has been made to the federal government to devise means of bringing Nigeria out of its present belligerent situation.
Speaking in an interview, the Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, Mr. Banji Okunomo noted that the issue at hand is beyond giving loans to States.
He noted that at the inception of the Buhari led federal government, loans were given out to States in form of bail out funds.
He noted that the funds could not be described as bail out especially since the money was being deducted, direct from the source, from the allocation of States which benefitted from it.
He posited that if the funds was indeed bail out, States would not be made to repay in the manner which now obtains.
He said that the proposed 90 billion naira loan that the federal government is planning to give out again would not make much difference.
According to him, the federal government said it would not release the 90 billion at once but would give out 50 billion naira first and then the remaining 40 billion naira later.
“The proposed 90 billion bail out to be given to States is another loan. States of the federation cannot continue to thrive on loans
“Moreover, the federal government is not even going to give out the 90 billion at once. It promises to give out 50 billion and then give out the remaining 40 billion naira later.
“If 50 is to be shared among 36 States, it would not make any meaning. That means each State would get just about 1.3 billion naira.
“In Ondo State, that amount is not enough to pay just one month salary of workers. The State expends about 3.9 billon naira to pay its over 60 thousand work force on a monthly basis. It is on record that Ondo State has the largest work force in Nigeria.
“Such a loan can never help the situation. Instead, it would aggravate the people’s problems”, he said
Okunomo who noted that many of Nigeria’s problem arose because of the problems emanating from the Niger/Delta said it is time the federal government looked into this.
He stated that Nigeria cannot make excess revenue because it cannot meet the expected quota of crude oil supply in the international market.
“Whether one likes it or not, the poor management of the Niger Delta crisis by the federal government has aggravated the economic crisis of the country and Nigeria may not bail itself out of this economic problem if it fails to engage in constructive dialogue and negotiation with the warring group.
“It is rather unfortunate that the APC still acts like an opposition even as the head of national government in Nigeria.
“What is going on right now in the country can best be described as national malady as over 32 states of the federation are owing workers”, he said.
He berated the APC led federal government for having serious problems with policy conception and implementation, which according to him, has caused a lot of set back for the country.
He called on the Federal Government to pay back the money which the State government used to construct roads.
“The federal government should also release the Paris club money so that States can get their shares . If Ondo States gets its, for instance, it would be available for the state to address some of its immediate problems”, he said.
He identified the Implementation of the 2014 confab reports as the panacea to Nigeria’s nagging problems
“For Nigeria to move forward, the report of the 2014 national conference must be implemented. The implementation of the report is the answer to the problem of the country. Or else, Nigeria would remain on the same point
“The numerous trips of the president would not help the problem. Rather, the federal government should take a proactive step towards resolving these problems”, he said.