FG Must Hold Economic Summit Now – Oyintiloye

Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, a member of the Osun State House of Assembly representing Obokun Constituency, has advocated the convening of a national stakeholders’ economic summit that would permanently address the dilemma surrounding the inability of several states to pay salaries and other economic issues.

This, he said, while speaking with journalists in the state capital on Monday. He also requested the Federal Government should bail out the states that are battling with unpaid salaries as part of intervention to stabilize the economy.

He said after the bail out, the Federal Government should hold a high-level stakeholders’ conference to include all tiers of Governments, labour unions, financial institutions, multi national organisations, among others, to address the situation and proffer long-term solutions to the lingering economic problem.

He said part of the issues to be discussed at the summit must include an action plan on diversification of the economy from mono-economy, which is dependent on oil by taking full advantage of the agriculture and solid mineral potentials.

Oyintiloye also stressed that the challenges facing the country now and those affecting states is beyond salaries, saying the fundamentals of the nation’s economy would have to be addressed.

“There is need for bail out and after that, we must go back to the drawing board and find ways to re-prioritize programmes, projects and implementation of policies. As we all know, the Nigerian economy takes its breath from oil and the moment oil suffocates, everything in the country suffocates with it. It is high time the nation changes from this oil hand out orientation, if this nation looked inward, to survive economically,” he said.

Oyintiloye also recommended the creation of special fund to be tagged State Economic Development Fund which, according to him, would be devoted to economic ventures of products in which states have comparative advantage, such as agriculture, logistics, mining etc.

“For instance, a state that can plant cocoa or cassava could be assisted with such fund, which could form part of equity in a Public Private Partnership, PPP, project aimed at long term sustainable source of state revenue. Also, a framework for involving the international investors could be worked out. This model will facilitate diligent monitoring and applications of such funds”, he said.

Describing the workforce, especially that of the State of Osun, as very committed to the actualization of government’s lofty programmes and objectives, Oyintiloye said the present situation should not be politicized for selfish reasons. “Osun State workers are beautiful component of government programmes, they translate policies to common advantage and functions to protect common interest in education, health etc., they are not an addendum, they have been cardinal to the success of good governance. It would be unforgivable for anyone to play cheap politics with the issues of salary delay, as the situation calls for sober reflection and urgent concern to ensure that the country never falls into such a horrible situation again,” he added.

He stressed that the government is deeply touched because of the effect of the unpaid salaries on the entire people, and assured that efforts is underway to find a solution to the crisis.

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