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Why Nigeria is yet to achieve economic diversification – Abraham Nwankwo

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Abimbola Johnson

 

The paradox of a federal state with a unitary economic management model has been cited as a major reason why Nigeria is yet to achieve economic diversification despite effort by successive governments.

Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, an economist and former Director General of the Debt Management Office, expressed this view in a keynote speech he delivered at an international conference organized by the Faculty of Management Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka in Anambra State today.

Nwankwo noted that a country that is practicing federalism should “naturally incline towards economic diversification” but posited that  the subsisting arrangement in Nigeria had worked against that expectation and renders the system a sharing one rather than a producing one.

“Oil revenue which accounts for between 75 and 80% of public revenue over the past four decades is adjudged owned by the federation and not the sub-national territories where they occur.

“ Following the unitary approach to administration entrenched by military governments for about 30 years starting in 1966, the 1999 Federal Constitution requires that such revenue be moved to the federal treasury, from where it is shared to all the governments according to the prevailing revenue allocation formula.

“The sharing formula has nothing to do with useful contribution to the revenue but is rather based on such factors as population, school enrolment and land mass. This economic model encourages allocation and sharing rather than production and saving.

“As a result, States get lazy about developing and depending on internally-generated revenue and neglect diversification of their revenues. This behavior is a variant of Resource Curse generated in a disjointed federal system like Nigeria’s.”

He stated that while Nigeria’s political arrangement is federalism, the economic arrangement is essentially unitary, which has is a major factor inhibiting economic diversification.

The economist further stated that the unitary management of the economy in a federal state had led to a few incongruencies, which are symptoms of sustained economic mismanagement, stressing that this “disorder” must be addressed to achieve economic diversification.

To achieve economic diversification, he urged the government to address some of the incongruencies which include “The non-oil sector which contributes more than 91% of GDP contributes less than 20% to export earnings while oil which contributes less than 9% to the GDP contributes more than 80% to exports earnings, the big non-oil sector contributes less than 30% to public revenue while the small oil sector contributes between 77% and 80% to public revenue.”

Also, he said the non-oil sector is not able to fund its foreign exchange needs but depends largely on foreign exchange generated from the oil sector. “This means that the non-oil sector is dangerously connected to the oil sector and therefore vulnerable to the latter’s volatility,” he said.

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Zamfara State partners Learn Africa

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Zamfara State government  has partnered Learn Africa Educational Development Foundation to develop education in the State. The state has received received 15 tones of book to boost educational development in the state.

The educational development company will support Zamfara State by distributing books to various schools in the State.

It would be recalled that Learn Africa is a leading educational book publishers in the country.
Learn Africa is now supporting Zamfara State with 15 tones truck load of books.

With the zeal to curtail security problem in the state, he is applying the same zeal to boost educational development in the state.

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Uduaghan felicitates with Keyamo, other ministerial nominees

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Uduaghan plans for Delta South in the senate

Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, former Governor of Delta State and Chieftain of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari for transmitting his ministerial list to the National Assembly in record time. He also congratulated the ministerial nominees for making the cut from a pool of eminent party men and women who could serve in President Buhari Next Level government.

In a statement signed by his special adviser on media, Mr. Monoyo Edon, and made available to The Witness on Tuesday, Dr Uduaghan said, “for us in Delta State, Festus Keyamo‘s appointment did not come as a surprise to us. Festus has distinguished himself and has shown capacity in his previous post as spokesperson of our Presidential Campaign Council. His appointment is very welcomed to the APC family in Delta State.”

“Some of my brother former Governors and other nominees that made the cut have something tangible to contribute to the Next Level program of Mr. President. I know them and I am sure they can function creditably well with any portfolio given to them at the end of the day.”

Dr. Uduaghan was also full of praise for President Muhammadu Buhari who yielded to the masses’ pressure to name a cabinet before the Senate goes on long recess.

“President Buhari has, on several occasion showed that he listens to the masses, whom he holds their mandate so passionately. We are all happy that his cabinet would be named in a matter of days after the National Assembly successfully screens all of them. President Buhari is committed to the success and development of this country. We have seen that with the kind of persons he has chosen to serve with him in this government.

“Congratulations to all the ministerial nominees. Congratulations to our great party for doing the appropriate thing at a time Nigerians wish this government is firing on full throttle.”

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BREAKING: Buhari appoints Saraki, Akpabio, Keyamo, 40 others as ministers

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