Why Nigerian states can't grow, baby-feeding centre blamed

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By Olanrewaju Akojede

An industrialist, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, has said that the monthly federal allocation being shared by the federating states of Nigeria is responsible for the retardation of Nigerian states and their failure to think outside the box.

Ohuabunwa, the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) made the allegation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while reflecting on the economic challenges the nation was facing.

He spoke with NAN after he delivered the 6th Public Lecture organised by Crawford University, Igbesa, on “When will Nigeria Become a First Nation” on Saturday.

He said that he was in a support for the restructuring of Nigeria, adding that only a return to regional government could engender the type of economic development Nigeria aspired to have.

“I am a full time supporter of restructuring because it is the only way to go if we want to have meaningful development as a country.

“It is only independent children that will find a way of catering for themselves not those tied to the apron spring of their parents, they will not have the motivation to be self-sufficient.

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“The centre or the Federal Government is still baby-feeding the states, so how do we expect them to grow? They are on scholarships, so anything that happens after the allocation is not their concern.

“The states government executives will go to the centre to collect what they think is theirs and share it. After paying salaries and few other expenses, they will pocket the remaining money,” he said.

Ohuabunwa said that the state could not be economically viable if they are collecting free money without any urge to improve their internal revenue generation.

“Our states are not economically viable because they still receive free money from the centre, with this type of arrangement, we may not get anywhere.

“Some states executives are not motivated to work or increase the capacity of their states as long as they rely on the proceeds from the Niger Delta oil which they don’t have to labour for.

“With the oil money coming, how many state executives will think about agriculture or investment? We need to do away with oil money to open our eyes to Nigeria’s potential.

“Restructuring is the only way to go if we are sincere about development in the country; let every state make itself economically viable and stop relying on oil money,” he said.