Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state has charged governments at all levels to prioritize agriculture and adequately harness the untapped potentials of the sector to fast-track economic growth and development.
Dr. Anthony Aziegbemi, an Economist and Edo chapter Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has hailed the courage of Gov. Godwin Obaseki to mention the printing of N60 billion by the federal government to augment revenue allocation.
Obaseki had in an expose alleged that the country was in troubled times that it had to print the currency to beef up the federation account for sharing to the three tiers of government in March.
The federal government had since denied the allegation, which went viral on social media, describing it as baseless.
Aziegbemi, who holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Russia, on Friday at a media briefing in Benin, however, described the revelation by Obaseki as a wake-up call for Nigerians, including the governor.
He explained that at present, according to available statistics, the inflation rate in the country stood at 18.17 percent, unemployment rate 43 percent, and debt N32 trillion.
He, therefore, said that the Edo governor had spoken the truth desperately needed at the moment.
According to Aziegbemi, the governor has sounded a wake-up call for all Nigerians including himself.
“He has spoken the truth desperately needed at this time. “He has shaken the table for the right thing to be done.”
He noted that this was because the country had always depended on revenue from oil.
He observed that with the reality on the ground the nation could not continue to put its hope on oil as the only source of revenue.
He noted that the nation’s dependence on things it had no control of was affecting the revenue and economy of the country.
The PDP Chairman also noted that deficit financing and lack of consistency in the prices of crude oil were responsible for the constant borrowing by the country as well as the printing of currency.
Aziegbemi stressed that the N32 trillion debt by the country was frightening, with nobody even knowing the repayment plan, adding that Obaseki’s revelation was for all policymakers to think.
According to him, the economy of Nigeria is in dire need of a surgical operation.
“N32 trillion debt by Nigeria is frightening; so our governor’s revelation is for all policymakers to think, because, as it is now nobody knows the repayment plan for these borrowed monies.”
Aziegbemi, however, noted that despite the “gloom” hovering over the country, Edo would be fine because of the governor’s policies and reforms in the state.
He stressed that parts of the policies and reform programs by the governor included investment in Agriculture, Technology, Human capital development, employment, and infrastructure.
“So everybody in Edo has to be part of the “Resetting” Edo as well as the people-oriented policies and development being put in place by the governor,” he said.
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