By Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto
Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, yesterday said he had nothing whatsoever against former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, but only opposed some of his policies that were inimical to the progress of the country.
Speaking during an interview with journalists in Sokoto, Tambuwal averred that he disagreed with Jonathan because of some of the policies adopted by his administration.
“As the Speaker of the House of Representatives then, I was always raising the alarm on the way things were being managed in the country especially lack of prudence, but some people felt that I was against Jonathan.
“I never hated Jonathan as a person, but only disagreed with his policies. The recession we are currently facing was as a result of the way the economy was mismanaged by the Jonathan administration,” he said.
He emphasised that the only way out of this recession was for the federal government to inject more money into the economy especially in construction projects.
According to him, this is the only way to create jobs and boost the economy of the country.
“Ask any economist around the world about the panacea to recession, he or she will tell you that it is the injection of money into the economy. That is why we are asking the federal government to give us the Paris Club money to enable us inject huge funds into the economy.
“Former President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, used this strategy of massive construction works to take America out of recession. So construction projects alone will create a lot of jobs and get Nigeria out of recession.
“I know that Nigerians are not happy and are running out of patience but they should be patient. It is very easy to destroy but to rebuild the economy takes time.”
He disclosed that the state government had adopted measures to cushion the effect of high cost of food items in the state.
The governor said the newly established state commodity board would soon spring into action to stabilise food prices in the state.
“Of course, the leadership of the Sokoto State Commodity Board had been appointed. We have been talking to the office of the vice president through the commodity board also in collaboration with Flour Mills of Nigeria to take over the silos in Sokoto so that we can buy and store grains and some food items.
“This is to enable us do some interventions when the need arises, and of course when the board comes on stream fully, we intend to use it as a platform and can always uptake excesses of our farm produce.
“So, this is a very important vehicle we intend to use for the benefit of our farmers. On our own part, the commodity board will be the platform we will use to intervene and stabilise food prices,” the former House speaker said.
On ways to improve the internally generated revenue in the state, Tambuwal posited that the management of the state Board of Internal Revenue was dissolved two days ago with a view to achieving the desired objectives.
“We have already constituted a new team and we gave them the mandate to look at areas of generating revenue without imposing hardship or making life difficult for the people.
“As at the time we came in, the highest the state Board of Internal Revenue generated and gave the state monthly was between N340 million and N400 million. When I double -checked with the state Ministry of Finance, we gave the board a monthly target of N500 million.
“But since the time we assumed office and up till yesterday, the management was not able to meet that target not even once. We realised that even tax deductions from salaries of federal and state
civil servants in the state should be able to give us at least N400 million and upwards.
“In fact, we gave the management of the board several warnings to come up with more proactive measures to improve revenue generation but to no avail.That is why we desolved it,” Tambuwal added.