By Olanrewaju Ajao President Muhammadu Buhari has told state governors owing workers’ salaries for several months to settle their workers and put an end to the hardship their families are going through.
The President also told the governors to their faces to stop executing projects which do not have immediate impact on their people but emphasize people- oriented programmes and policies.
The President who inaugurated the National Economic Council today at the Council Chambers of the State House, commended the past activities of the Council in shaping government’s economic activities.
While reminding the governors to emphasize the principles of transparency and accountability in financial management, the President also encouraged neighbouring states to cooperate in areas of common interest like feeder roads, inter-state roads soil erosion, desertification etc.
The Council, which is mandated to advise the President on measures necessary for the co-ordination of the economic planning and programmes of the various Governments of the Federation, is a Constitutional body chaired by the Vice President which has all 36 state governors, FCT minister and Central Bank of Nigeria governor as members.
“I am pleased to note that the Council meetings have, over the years, been very constructive and productive, and the key outcomes as well as recommendations translated into Government policies at the Federal and state levels. This has not only facilitated national economic planning, but also lead to over- all political harmony.
“It is also reassuring to note that steps have been taken in the past to strengthen the effectiveness of the Council in its role as prime adviser on developments in the economy. This process must be geared up substantially especially in the difficult times that we have now found ourselves. The National Planning Commission must continue to work to arrive at workable consensus on Government policies among the various tiers of Government, which is a prerequisite for sustained growth and development.
“Your Excellencies, it is evident that the task of ensuring growth, job creation and equity, is quite enormous. Consequently, we must kick-start this process by cultivating a culture of prudent management of resources at all levels of Government. This will entail looking inwards to secure sustainable ways of increasing Internally Generated Revenue (IGR); and harnessing growth potentials of each State to supplement the Federation Account allocation to States. The States are also encouraged to embark on projects that will meet immediate needs of the people taking account of available resources. I therefore urge Council members to consider, as a matter of urgency, exploring efficient means of gradually liquidating all unpaid salaries of staff, which have brought untold hardship to thousands of families.
“I would like also, as a former Governor myself to remind us the need for neighbouring states to cooperate closely on projects such as interstate and feeder roads, soil erosion, desertification and other developmental programmes. Our country is one and we who have the responsibility to run it lead by example. As far as is possible there should be distance between politics and development programmes, “the President said.
President Buhari reminded the governors of the focus of his administration, which he spoke about extensively on the day of his inauguration.
” You may recall, that in my inaugural speech, on May 29, 2015 I stated that the primary objective of this Administration is to tackle insecurity; youth unemployment, through the revival of agriculture, solid minerals mining, as well as small and medium size businesses.