It was gathered that Nigeria emerged from a major economic boom in the history of the country poorer, leading development economist and a Director at Lagos Business School, Prof. Pat Utomi, has said. Utomi said this in a Lead Presentation at a National Forum for Fiscal Responsibility Commissions, which opened in Abuja on Monday. Setting agenda for the incoming administration of President-elect, Mohammadu Buhari, Utomi said the government should never use borrowed funds to fund recurrent expenditure.
He regretted that some governors were able to hire private jets to travel from their states to Abuja while they could not pay the salaries of workers that were already poorly paid. Utomi said unlike what happened in the country during the First Republic, when regional leaders competed on development, present sub-national leaders, especially governors, abandoned their responsibilities and became overlords.
He berated Nigerian leaders, especially sub-national leaders, for abandoning governance and making their people poorer rather than following in the footsteps of their predecessors in the First Republic, who engaged in healthy competition for the development of their different regions.
Utomi said, “We have come out of a boom very poor and this is very sad. People who are already poorly paid don’t get their money at the end of the month. This is irresponsibility and has to stop. “A governor that has not paid salaries can still chatter a jet to fly to Abuja. You need to arrest that kind of governor. “Institutions broke down in the states completely. Most governors managed to put legislators in their pockets. The governors became overlords.
“The proceeds from ghost workers could turn around the fortune of education in the states. Jobs were not created for the teeming youths. No significant infrastructure was built yet salaries were being owed for eight months in some states.”