Sunday, 5 July 2015

Why Okonjo Iweala’s Economic Policy failed Nigerians – Finance Expert, Lukman Oyewole Lawal


By on 21:15
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Mr. Lukman Oyewole Lawal speaking to Journalists during the encounter in Lagos


A chattered accountant, politician and Policy expert, Mr. Lukman Oyewole Lawal has given an insight into how President Goodluck Jonathan and his economic team led by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala ruined Nigeria’s economic system in 4 years.
Mr. Lawal who is the founder of The Ultimate Youth Dream Initiative, a Lagos based Non Governmental Organization that researches government’s policies at states, local and national level for the promotion of good and quality governance told  journalists  during a  recent youth orientation program at Akintan Grammar School in Suru-Lere  area of Lagos state, South West Nigeria that the government of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan ran the economy with a wrong manual and advised President Muhammad Buhari to ensure he corrects the ills by choosing green heads in finance and economic matters to reform the economy.
Giving a hint on how the Jonathan regime got it wrong, Mr. Oyewole noted that “Budgeting is a very significant instrument that is used in governance”. He stressed further “However, the trend in Nigeria is such that the budgeting system supposed to be in two folds. We have the vertical distribution and the horizontal distribution”.  “The vertical distribution talks about how money accruing to the federation that is the federal government, the state and local government are shared on a vertical structure. The federal government at the top echelon is getting 52.68%; the state governments (36 states) are getting 26.70% and the local governments (774 LGAs) are getting 20.6%.”

“I, Lukman Lawal have a workable modem that can redress that situation from 74% to 40% in three years. Without sounding proud, our organization has done enough research to reach this level; we would give them the manual to achieve it. We would tell them how it is done”

Mr. Lukman Oyewole Lawal says 'I have the manual to help Leaders better our economic sysytem'
“We always harp on this, the finance commissioners go for the federation accounts allocation committee meeting to draw their cheques and go back to their respective states. In the same sense we have the horizontal distribution of the funds by the person at the center which is the Federal Government; those funds are supposed to go through all the 36 states through the ministries, departments and agencies in order to ginger economic activities, to ginger productivity and ginger growth. Then the aggregate sum goes to domestic product. Then we talk about the fiscal and monetary policies which is the federal government’s primary responsibilities but I can tell you that the last regime ran a federal government that budgets over 70% of its earnings year-in-year-out on re-current expenditure; salaries and allowances, over heads, maintenance of buildings, travelling expenses, medical expenses, cutleries, food, wine and all kind of frivolities; servicing of debts; most of the debts they have incurred locally and internationally, ton of trillions, unnecessary debts and that is why states cant pay salaries”
 
Lukman Oyewole Lawal....'Youth must be involved in governance'
History of Crazy Debt
Mr. Oyewole gave a swinging graph of how Nigeria’s economic strength straddled down to an all time low tracing it to post 2011 election trends  “In 2011, 74.4% of the earnings of the federal government were budgeted on re-curing expenditure. In 2012, it came down a little bit to 71.5% and we were applauding them. By 2013 it went down further to 67.5% and we said ‘oh, it seems they are thinking’. You won’t believe it my brother, that in 2014, It sky rocketed again to 74% and we just lost focus of the kind of untapped potential that we have in the power sector, that we have in the educational sector, that we have in the transport sector, that we have in the manufacturing sector. It is such that we can never get where we are supposed to be if we continue with this kind of spending pattern. It is going to further impoverish my generation, it is going to further impoverish my children’s generation; it is going to be a monumental failure if we do not reject that trend of spending”
On what to do to correct the anomaly the chattered accountant and policy analyst offered an idea “As I am talking to you my brother, I, Lukman Lawal have a workable modem that can redress that situation from 74% to 40% in three years. Without sounding proud, our organization has done enough research to reach this level; we would give them the manual to achieve it. We would tell them how it is done; I hope you have not forgotten how former President Goodluck Jonathan ran to the National Assembly last year asking for a one billion dollar loan to stop Boko Haram and I ask myself, ‘how did we get here, at that time of the year, we were just a bit about half year of the years’ budget, why cant we mop up just N165 Billion from the N4.3 trillion of the years’ budget? Are they saying they have finished spending everything they budgeted on over head costs? Are they saying they have finished all the frivolities that we have as allowances and security votes? They are very quick to run hand in cap to get more loans and further impoverish generation of Nigerians yet unborn and I am challenging every young person in Nigeria today; every young educated Nigerian today, to please speak up. To please ‘do not join the band wagon of people that has sworn to drag this country into eternal debt, into eternal failure, into eternal cantankerous living. Where we are today is because of the failings of twenty to twenty-five or thirty years ago. We are reaping the failings in action and in the absence of the entire period and now we are heaping much more bad governance, bad decisions on this present generation and I can tell you that if we don’t speak up, we might live to regret our actions”
 
Lukman Oyewole Lawal....'Economic Policy of GEJ was a sham'
How to solve economic crisis
Mr. Lawal gave a credible way out of the economic logjam “Firstly, we must actively participate in governance. When you are participating in governance, bring a positive approach. Do not allow yourself to be used to promote bad policies. Don’t be blind to your present realities. You are not supposed to be where you are presently; the only thing we can do to ourselves is to eradicate this present situation by making the right choices, by doing the needful and participating positively in governance”
“This people (Politicians) have pauperized our generation. I want to call members of my generation; I want to call every young elite and the youth to please rise up and the time is now. No matter where you run to you will still come back to Nigeria, no matter where you send your kids to, they will still come back to Nigeria. God forbid, those kids that we have failed in education due to our bad economic policies will become the nemesis of our tomorrow. Let us rise up and support the government of President Muhammad Buhari and all the elements of the CHANGE dream at state and national level. I will also appeal to Mr. President that he takes his time to appoint the best of heads that can lead this country out of the present economic logjam that has denied people from earning their dues after working for it”
(For Expert Advise and Consultation, Mr. Lawal can be reached on 070-888-00-183 or Luklawgreat@yahoo.com)

Gbenga Dan Asabe

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