Sulaiman Kazeem (Opomulero)
24 March, 2019

Now, we should discuss the obvious reasons for the present state of the economy of Osun State – Nigeria, and why the situation will not change until the people themselves and their leaders take pragmatic steps.

Expectedly, the people of Osun State have been yearning for infrastructural and human capital development in the State, but it is disappointing that a majority of the people don’t know how much the State generates in Internal Revenues, receives from Federal Allocation Account monthly, the current debt status of the State and how tranches of the Paris Club refunds given to Osun State were spent. Had the people know how little the State generates in IGR and how poorly it has been managed by successive governments, they would have been in consonance with reality that the only way out of the present situation is having a leadership that has the political will and think-tank to drive both indigenous and foreign investment to the State, which is solely dependent on the confidence of investors in the government’s readiness to invest in massive infrastructural development and provide a business friendly atmosphere.

However, the publication with facts and data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, FAAC and Debt Management Office (DMO), is consistent with the mandate of NEITI which clearly shows that Osun State is underperforming in revenue generation and collection, annual budget implementation and also reveals the huge debt on the State – N8.96B in IGR, N165.91B in Debt, N31.5B in Total FAAC, N40.46B in Total Revenue, N152B annual budget 2019.

As we continue on this discourse, we must be reminded that Osun State people who used to be predominantly self-sustenance in Agriculture and other traditional occupations have suddenly become a State with majority of them on the government payroll – Civil Servants. It is on record that Former Governor Bisi Akande made efforts to trim the over bloated structure but it was repelled with disdain by people who were at the receiving end because the approach was probably faulty.

Today, Osun State recurrent expenses seemingly shoots above the State IGR. No doubt, this is a great concern and of course one of the impediments to the growth and development in the State. Inarguably, a State with monthly recurrent expenditure higher than IGR can not experience sustainable growth and development, except the monthly Federal Allocation is huge enough to fill the vacuum created by the low IGR, leakages and mismanagement of funds in government is brought to the nearest possible single digit, and earnings of public officials are reduced considerably.

For Osun State to grow amidst the present financial challenges, the leadership of the State must invest in human capital development that will cushion the effects of the necessary and considerable reduction in size of the State workforce and encourage the people to be self-sustenance, source for funds in loan and grants that would be invested into sustainable infrastructural and human capital development capable of driving investments and in return stimulate the economy.

Above all, the successive monumental leakages and mismanagement of funds in Osun State must be reduced - with the funds realized channeled into developmental projects – this would help the people to feel the presence of the government in their respective communities and in return restore their confidence in the State leadership.

To be continued.

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