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Fiscal federalism key to prosperity – Enwegbara

Leading Management and Financial Consultant, Mr. Odilim Enwegbara has said that fiscal federalism remains the only key way Nigeria can move into economic prosperity.

Enwegbara stated this while briefing newsmen on the just concluded National Conference in Abuja.

He said political autonomy without fiscal autonomy has failed Nigeria in the past decades of its practice and is weakening the current federal system in Nigeria.

Enwegbara who lauded the delegates at the national conference for their dedication to duty argued that states should be driven by inward-looking economic system, dependent on their internal generated revenues, IGRs as their mainstay.

He further called for reintroduction of 1963 constitution which mandated every mineral producing state to take 50 per cent of the proceeds and contribute 50 per cent to the centre for its development.

He faulted General Gowon, Buhari, IBB and Abdulsalami that built the system.

He further argued that since offshore oil is an exclusive economic zone under the convention of the law of the sea, it should belong to the sovereign state, while the onshore production should belong to the states where the oil is produced, with the state making a derivation contribution of 50 per cent to federal government.

“Political federalism is what we have been practicing with fiscal federalism. Political autonomy with fiscal autonomy is what weakens federalism in Nigeria. If we want to move forward, states should be driven by inward-looking economic system, dependent on their IGRs as their mainstay.

“Because each state controls its resources, it moves at its own pace based on such factors as human and natural resources endowment. Resource control is important if oil communities should be allowed to be involved in oil production and protection,” he said.

According to him, resource control will helpful if the mineral communities should be involved in the exploration of the resources and protection of the facilities.

The economist also recommended a clear separation between foreign direct investment and foreign private investment to avoid undue exploitation of Nigerian economy and equally called for support for the new auto policy to encourage the indigenous companies.


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