Bayo Oyewale Lokoja
The federal government had spent a total of Sum of N1.19 trillion to support the 36 states of the federation as at September 2017.
The Vice President, Professor Osinbajo who made this known while speaking at the maiden Kogi State, Economic Investment and Investment summit at Government House in Lokoja, stated that the funds had enabled some state governments to embark on capital expenditures.
He said the funds were made available to enable the states to meet the challenges of shortage of funds for the execution of programmes in their respective states.
He pointed out that the funds were made available through the excess crude account, the Paris Club refund, loans among others to the states.
He said that parts of the funds were the entitlements of the state that they legally had access to, while some of them were loans to be repaid.
Vice president Osinbajo said that the present administration had the highest capital expenditures in two years, adding that these were evident in the ongoing railway line construction, road constructions, hydropower project.
He stressed that the summit came at the right time that the country was trying to reduce its dependence on oil and increase its non-oil income with the promotion of agriculture and the abundant solid mineral resources across the country.
He said Kogi state is strategically located with vast mineral resources that could make it a hub of commercial activities, adding that the summit was capable of reinvigorating and inspiring the people.
While speaking, the state- governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, said the summit was packaged to change the identity of the 27 years old state from a civil service state to an industrialised one.
He said his administration had in the last two years preparing the ground for economic and industrial breakthroughs for the state by solving the problems that had been hindering economic growth in the state.
Bello said the state is now safe for investors and investments, adding that the problem of security had been tackled.
He said, “We are changing the toga of a civil service state to an economic and commercially viable one and we want investors to collaborate with us and contribute to the prosperity of the state.
“Kogi state is now open for business, we want to be signing MoU, I invite the private sector to collaborate with us in our bid to develop the state, Kogi state is for serious business”.
The minister of solid minerals development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, in his presentation, said the bulk of the revenue of Kogi state should be internally generated based on the abundant mineral resources in the state.
He however said mining was not a business that should be tied to the tenure of any executive as it is a long term investment that outlived the maximum two term tenure of any executive.