Ex-Niger Gov: Why We Did Not Save for the Rainy Day

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Laleye Dipo in Minna

Immediate past Governor of Niger state, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu has defended the inability of the last administration to save part of its income in the boom era for the rainy day saying the government was handicapped by the 1999 Constitution.

Aliyu said what the Constitution provided for was for all amount generated to be put in the federation account and shared between the three tiers of government.

“The Constitution did not say we should save anything what the Constitution say us that we should generate and share it will be illegal for us to say we want to save, the law does not allow it”.
Former Governor Aliyu made the remarks in Minna, Niger state yesterday when he served as the chairman at the second edition of the NDEDI Annual lecture series which had as its theme ‘The Emergence of the Current Economic Realities: Expectations on the part of government and the private sector’.

“The 1999 Constitution did not think of any rainy day the Constitution says all money generated should be put in a pool and shared, to the he three tiers of government”.
However former governor Aliyu said he and some of his colleagues were convinced at the time of the need to keep some money aside for eventuality which brought about the establishment of the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

According to him though one of the governors at the time opposed the idea and even went to court to challenge it the scheme still was able to reserve over N2.56 billion as at the time we left the government in 2015.

Former governor Aliyu therefore called for a review of the 1999 Constitution to make it mandatory for all the tiers if government to save no matter how little from their income.
“Such a constitutional provision will take care of the type of situation we have on our hands where not less than 26 States in the country cannot pay workers’ salaries”.

On the fight against corruption Aliyu said both the Constitution and the electoral AC should be amended to provide legal framework for the war against corruption.
By so doing the former governor said the campaign would not terminate with any administration as successive governments would be bound by law to carry on the drive.

Speaking on how to get out if recession former governor Aliyu said more efforts should be put into agricultural production emphasising that the present policy encouraged only subsistence farming.
Executive Director of Newgate College of Technology organisers of the inaugural lecture Alhaji Hassan Nuhu in an address stressed the need for the private sector to be encouraged to drive the country out of recession.
The lead paper was presented by Professor Ahmed Sadauki Abubakar of the Federal University of Technology Minna.