africa

How to end insecurity, unemployment, by Tinubu


From AbdulGafar Alabelewe, Kaduna/Kolade Adeyemi, Jos

 

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu believes that the panacea to the current state of insecurity and youth unemployment in the country lies in massive spending by government.

Tinubu said in Kaduna, yesterday, that at a time like this, an economy like ours requires what he called fiscal wisdom, “but not necessarily austerity” to ensure equitable wealth redistribution and meaningful use of resources.

He spoke on Reduction of the Cost of Governance for Inclusive Growth and Youth Development in Northern Nigeria in a Post-COVID-19 Era at the opening of the 2021 Sardauna Memorial Lecture, which he chaired.

The former Lagos State governor differed with Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, who said that all tiers of government in Nigeria must, as a matter of urgency, cut down on the high cost of governance in order to fund critical areas of development that will address the challenges of Nigerians.

Tinubu asked those advocating ‘small government’ to learn from history, saying: “If we limit government’s role under the erroneous assumption that government spending is intrinsically unproductive, then we tether ourselves to failure.”

According to him, it is imperative for government of any populous country to allocate sufficient funds to projects and programmes that are capable of creating and encouraging enduring growth and employment.

He said: “We must reject that mode of thinking that assumes government expenditure is inherently unproductive as well as harmful to the overall economy.

“It is not the fact that government expenditure is intrinsically wrong any more than one can say all private sector activity is economically positive.

“Government can be wasteful or it can be the key component to growth just as a private sector business can function profitably or spend itself into bankruptcy.”

He said the private sector is too weak to spur the economic growth Nigeria needs, arguing that were the private sector able to manage this feat, it would have already done so.

He paid tribute to the late Sardauna of Sokoto Sir Ahmadu Bello, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe for establishing Nigeria as “one indivisible and independent nation,” and said the present and future generations of Nigerians should continue to build on the foundation laid by “these extraordinary men so that Nigeria may achieve its manifest destiny and realise the promise of a greatness too long deferred.”

He said: “Cost of governance is always a key factor in the socio-economic development of any nation. But it is also one side of an important coin.

“We must not look at the cost alone. We must weigh the cost against the benefits derived therefrom. For example, one can pay a high cost on a productive enterprise but reap a higher benefit. Such would be considered a good investment.

“However, one can pay a low cost but reap no benefit at all because the endeavour was inherently unproductive. This would be a waste. Thus, we must be careful in what we say and truly mean when we talk of the costs of governance.

“The development of any populous nation has always been dependent on the ability of government to allocate sufficient funds to projects and programmes that create and encourage enduring growth and employment.

“We must reject that mode of thinking that assumes government expenditure is inherently unproductive as well as harmful to the overall economy.

“It is not the fact that government expenditure is intrinsically wrong any more than one can say all private sector activity is economically positive.

“Government can be wasteful or it can be the key component to growth just as a private sector business can function profitably or spend itself into bankruptcy.

“The issue is not whether government is spending money or not. The real issue is the economic utility and quality of the expenditure.”

Continuing, Tinubu said: “Fiscal wisdom but not necessarily austerity is required for an economy like ours in a time like this to ensure equitable wealth redistribution and meaningful use of resources.

“The years have shown that the private sector is much too weak to spur the growth we need. If the private sector could manage this feat, it would have already done so.

“Where the private sector is too weak or unable, the government must fill the void. This means government must not be afraid to embark on an activist fiscal policy to create jobs, build infrastructure and develop our industrial sector as well as continue to improve agriculture.

“This means government must spend money but spend it on those things that bring the requisite economic returns for the nation.

“One must make the point about the urgency of the need to think outside of the box in finding solutions to the challenges posed by our unemployed youth.

“Because of the currency issuing power of the federal government, it is not bound to balance budgets like individuals and state governments are.

 

“Moreover, because of this currency power, federal expenditures are not constrained by federal tax or revenue intake.

“Just as importantly, what I advocate is something that can be applied to both the common and unique developmental challenges of the north and south so that the nation moves in unison without any group or region feeling left out or estranged from national progress.

“We should not be so against government spending. If it is for the right purposes, it can do essential things that the private sector cannot. What we should be against is wasteful government spending.

“Building vital infrastructure such as irrigation and water catchment systems will help agriculture, arrest desertification and provide jobs. Only government has the power and resources to call forth such a programme.

“Another readily available area primed for investment is the agro allied industry which, for the northern region, is particularly advantageous.”

On the herders/farmers crisis, Tinubu said enhanced security may be the necessary first step, but it cannot be the only step.

“We cannot resolve this problem by holding on to one-dimensional answers,” he said.

“We must all be dispassionate in our search for solutions. These challenges are multi-faceted and so shall the solutions must be.”

 

Lalong: Why cost of governance must be cut

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State who delivered this year’s lecture said all tiers of government in Nigeria must, as a matter of urgency, cut down on the cost of governance in order to fund critical areas of development that will address the challenges of Nigerians.

In his view, the high cost of governance has further increased the inability of the governments at all levels to meet the basic needs of the people.

He said factors such as corruption, insecurity, large number of Government appointees, high salaries, corruption, among others are among some of the factors that drive the high cost of governance in the country.

He insisted that this must be addressed immediately to change the trajectory of growth in Nigeria and the North in particular.

Lalong said the high cost of governance has worsened the standard of living in the Northern part of the country which continues to battle with infrastructure deficit, poverty, illiteracy, culture of patronage laziness, diseases and insecurity.

He said the Northern Governors Forum has seriously examined the economic situation in the region and is working in unison to address the high cost of governance and other obstacles to development.

The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, said the Federal Government has continued to implement various cut-cutting measures to reduce the cost of governance and free resources for development.

He said so far, the results are positive and the Federal Government will work with state governments including those of the Northern region in adopting measure that will reduce huge spending and wastages so that funds will be available for development.

Dignitaries at the lecture included Governors Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State; Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State; and AbdulRahman AbdulRazak of Kwara State; the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso; the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai Ibn El-Kanemi; Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe; and ACF Chairman, Chief Audu Ogbe, among others.

Awards were bestowed on six former governors of the Northern region who served meritoriously and founded the Arewa House.

Among them was former Governor of Benue Plateau State, the late Joseph Gomwalk.



READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more