Babalola Advises States, LGs To Upscale Infrastructural Development

The Honourable Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Remi Babalola, on Thursday advised the three tiers of government to look inwards to generate sustainable resources to meet the minimum requirements and needs of their economies, particularly the infrastructural development.

He gave the advice in Ibadan, Oyo State at the 2009 Ibadan Week Conference organised by the Jericho Businessmen Club at the Banquet Hall of Premier Hotel.

The minister, who was represented by his Special Assistant, Mr. Bode Agunbiade, advised the tiers of government not to solely depend on the monthly allocations from the Federation Account. Delivering a paper on the theme of the Conference “Infrastructural Development of Ibadanland”, Babalola explained that the provisions of infrastructure require further increase in government spending, especially in these modern times.

He said, “No doubt, with high expectations from Nigerians, the institutions of government are constantly under pressure to deliver increased, as well as, improved services, and of course, the ‘national cake’ has to be fragmented among the many units. With such fragmentation, no unit gets fully satisfied at the end of the day.

“There is therefore the necessity of looking inwards by States and Local Governments to generate sustainable resources to meet the minimum requirements and needs of their economies, besides the regular allocations from the Federation Account.” The minister, who chairs the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), asserted that
Nigeria’s oil revenue could not meet all the numerous needs of the Nation.

Besides, he noted that the fluctuations in the international oil market and the OPEC production levels in recent times have continued to create enormous volatility in government revenue projections, thereby truncating development plans and projects.   “The negative impact of ‘boom _ burst cycle’ of oil prices can only be addressed by enhancing the internally generated revenue (IGR) profile of all tiers of governments in order to sustain and deepen our development process.

“Currently, all tiers of government spend far more than they earn. Unfortunately, the chunk of the earnings goes for overheads and personnel costs, with very little left for capital projects, especially infrastructural development.

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