Gov. Okowa Bemoans the Nations Economy

The Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the Federal Government to take urgent steps in reviving the nation’s economy.

He stated this in Asaba yesterday, during his quarterly media brief. Okowa lamented that the nation’s economy was in a bad state, which has also affected workers’ salaries for November.

The Governor also expressed concern over the 2022 federal budget and the constant borrowings as a developing nation.

While fielding questions on the proposed fuel subsidy removal, the Governor said: “There is a reason to be worried as a nation.

“It is so bad that in November, with the money that came, Delta is unable to pay salaries, and we are negotiating with our banks so that we can pay salaries. It is as bad as that because of the fact that there are many issues, unexplained issues why Delta should receive as low as what it is receiving.”

The Governor who also spoke on subsidy removal said: “We (governors) cannot give any explanation, and no reason has been given to us. So, we are praying that we can get an answer from somewhere. The governors are not in charge of petrol subsidies. I do not think there is a natural stand of the governors on petrol subsidy at the moment.

“It is a decision that has to be taken by the Federal Government; it is a decision that will flow within the laws of the land, and it is a decision that has to be made based on the economic situation in our country.

“There is a lot of complexity in the economy of this nation. As of today, the situation is not the best for our country, Nigeria. Unfortunately, many times, we do not sit back to examine the federal budget. If you read the federal funding and look into the issue of our borrowings and money devaluation within Nigeria, you will begin to get very worried.

“The budget that was presented to the National Assembly, if I remember, is about N16.39 trillion. Of that N16.39 trillion, N5.35 trillion is for capital expenditure. Of that N16.39 trillion, N6.26 trillion is supposed to be borrowed, so if you are borrowing N6.23 trillion as a nation. Then you are spending about N5.35 trillion on capital expenditure; the implication is that without borrowing, we cannot execute a single capital project.

“And the worst is that of the N16.39trillion being borrowed if N5.35 trillion is going into capital expenditure, it means that about N1 trillion is going into recurrent expenditure, that is enough to put fears in us as a nation.

“There is a problem. The economy is not in the best state, so it is for the Federal Government to decide what economic plans and path it ought to follow for us as a country.

“It is just for us to understand that we are not a rich nation, we are a poor nation. I do not know about tomorrow, but as at today from all the indices, we are not a rich nation, we are just struggling through and there are challenges.”

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