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Over reliance on crude oil bane of economic devt’ ―NCCN

THE National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN), has decried over-reliance on crude oil for government revenue as a bane to economic development.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune on the sideline of a presentation briefing ‘The Viable Path to Job Rich Inclusive Growth’ at the Ford Foundation in Lagos on Monday, the Chief Executive Officer of NCCN, Chika Mordi, argued that Nigeria lost the opportunity to revive other sources of foreign exchange earnings during the recession while crude oil price fell below $50 per barrel.

According to him, “we have so much depended on oil sector for government revenues. And over-reliance on oil sector has been a great challenge to an all-inclusive development of the Nigerian economy.

“Presently, there is no incentive whatsoever for each state to be competitive. All states in Nigeria depend on the center for monthly allocation and all sorts of bailouts. The present fiscal structure is faulty and must be reworked.”

He said his organisation, NCCN, has set parameters to assess each state of the federation including the Federal capital territory (FCT), and that over 8000 households were surveyed.

“We recorded 91 percent success rate. We ranked each state based on the outcome regarding their competitiveness.  Some of the results were shocking because we found that some states have two percent female participation in their labour force.

“It means out of every 100 people in paid employment, only two were women. There were some positives though. However, we hope that after the report is launched on Thursday, we will witness the transfer of policy from those states where it has worked to those states where it has not worked.

“This is because the whole idea of competitiveness is a reduction of poverty and we feel that competitiveness will drive job-rich inclusive growth and that will always reduce poverty,” he said.

Besides, the CEO of Proshare Limited, Femi Awoyemi, stated that “the Federal Government controls the resources while the state governments control factors of production, that’s why Nigeria is not a productive nation. This is because the business mortality rate is very high.”

He said in an economy where the government is the biggest employers of labour, such economy cannot be efficient, sufficient and productive.