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JPB,NCDP urges States to take practical steps on diversification






The Joint Planning Board (JPB) and the National Council on Development Planning (NCDP) has urged states in Nigeria to take practical steps towards fiscal sustainability and economic diversification through responsible governance.



The agencies maintained that it is only through promotion of domestic investment, engagement of the organized private sector, widening of the tax space and monitoring and evaluation of projects that economic growth can be sustained.



They urged states of the federation to block all areas of financial leakages, uncontrolled finances and boost agricultural sector.



Addressing delegates at the 18th meeting of the agencies in Asaba, the Delta state capital yesterday, the Federal Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning, Mr Ernest Umakhihe, said many states are lagging behind in revenue generation, correctional services, continuity and maintenance of projects in an overpopulated environment but thrive in uncontrolled expenditure.



While he called on governments at all levels to start planning for the future of their states through ‘fiscal sustainability and economic diversification’, especially in agriculture and establishment of cottage industries, the lead discussant, Prof. Ndem Ayara of the Faculty of Science and Fiscal Responsibility, said many states are planning to fail.



He said,”many state of the federation are planning against the tide by excluding the organized private sector but appointing hundreds of Special Advisers, Special Assistants and Senior Special Assistants.”



He lamented that development partners have started packing out of many states and Nigeria at large, owing to poor budgetary provision, unrealistic economic diversification and fiscal irresponsibility.

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