The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has blamed Nigeria’s economic woes on wrong federal structure, which he said had predisposed the country to wealth sharing, indolence, and poor governance since the fall of the First Republic.
He reiterated that restructuring remained the true and lasting solution to the nation’s many woes, as it would promote wealth creation, productivity, good governance, and national development.
He made the assertions at the investiture of Dr. Omede Idris as the 15th President of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria, APBN, in Abuja, Thursday night.
Ekweremadu, who said the investiture ceremony came at a most crucial time in the country’s recent history, regretted that the Nigerian economy easily lapsed into recession, while the nation continued to lament over fall in oil price in a knowledge-driven global economy.
He, therefore, expressed worries that calls and attempts to re-engineer the nation’s federalism through restructuring and injection of fiscal federalism had always been unheeded and unsuccessful.
He said: “Instructively, well-meaning Nigerians, including my humble self, have continued to warn, even long before now, that our nation is not structured for wealth creation and economic prosperity, but for wealth sharing and guzzling. Otherwise, there should have been no reason to continue to lament over the fall in oil price in a knowledge-driven global economy.
“It is a clear indication of how much we have thrived on a wrong federal arrangement, thereby wasting our yesteryears. For too long, we have lived with poor governance, extravagance, and indolence induced by free money.
“Today, the honeymoon is over. The country is already neck-deep in economic crisis, the recession bites even harder, and inflation has escalated. We must wake up to reality and retrace our steps. It is needless to cry over spilt milk, but I dare to add that we are a country in dire need of redemption- and very fast too”.
The Deputy President of the Senate, however, expressed confidence in the capacity of Nigerian professionals to help lift the nation out of the current recession. He, therefore, tasked the APBN to rise to the challenges of the moment.
Senator Ekweremadu added: “Our redemption must start from within; and looking at the array of the professional bodies that make up the APBN, I see hope for our nation. We certainly have the requisite knowledge and human resources to revamp our economy if we deploy round pegs in round holes, regardless of political, religious, and ethnic affiliations.
“For the APBN in particular, it is time to show your strength and worth. I charge you to rise to the occasion and proffer short, medium, and long-term solutions to our economic crisis”.