The Permanent Secretary, (Budget and Planning), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mr. Ernest A. Umakhihe has called on State Governments in the Country to make conscious efforts at diversifying their economic/revenue base.
Mr. Umakhihe made this call in his remarks, Tuesday at the opening of the meeting of the Joint Planning Board (JPB) in Asaba, Delta State.
According to him, “the Country’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP) had constantly, indicated that the Oil& Gas sector dominates other sectors in terms of contribution to the national GDP” while other important sectors like Agriculture, Manufacturing, Wholesale and Retails trade have remained insignificant.
He, therefore, urged the States to tap into the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS) of the Central Bank of Nigeria, adding that the Scheme is intended to provide N1.5Billion loan to each State government to enable them to engage youths in Commercial Agriculture.
Furthermore, the Permanent Secretary described as apt the theme of this year’s meeting, “States’ Fiscal Sustainability and Economic Diversification in Nigeria” considering the States’ potentials to easily diversify its economic base.
Speaking on the way forward, the Permanent Secretary urged States on the need to concentrate on Agriculture, Manufacturing, Industrialization and Commercial activities and replicate the economic policies of the Federal Government in their respective States in order to consolidate and sustain the success achieved so far.
Earlier in his welcoming remark, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning in Delta State, Mr. Odhogbi J. O. reiterated the pervading role of planning to development generally, adding that development indices should not only be tied so much to generated statistical data, but to the actual trickle-down effect of development and how it transforms the general wellbeing of the people.
According to Odhogbi, there must be a deliberate and concerted effort of government at the National and State levels, while also identifying and taking full advantage of other revenue sources yet to be tapped, if fiscal sustainability and economic diversification must be achieved.
The Secretary to the Delta State Government Mr. Chiedu Ebie, represented by Dr. Barry Pere Gbe, Commissioner for Economic Planning, who declared the event open pledged the commitment of the Delta State Government to grow its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and enhance its revenue base.