The Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has decried the continuous fall in the global prices of the crude oil which had orchestrated a continued dwindling in the revenues accruable to Nigeria and other oil producing state.
Governor Aregbesola who attributed the current economic imbroglio in the states of the federation to what he regarded as the adverse effect of the present economic downturn in the oil sector across the world.
Governor Aregbesola made the statement while addressing the people during the 2nd Guest Personality Lecture organized by the Law Students of Osun State University, College of Law, at Ifetedo Campus.
Governor Aregbesola said Nigeria’s economy has gotten to the state of dilemma, saying efforts should be urgently intensified all and sundry to rescue the nation from the bring of collapse.
Analyzing the causes of the current economic challenges, Aregbesola said the nation wouldn’t have been entangled if the past administrations especially the administration of the erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan was not characterized with palpable corruption.
Governor Aregbesola who lamented over the way and manner at which the nation’s treasury and fortunes were being managed in the past said monumental corruption has been the bane of socio-political and economic retrogression in the country.
He said, “it is unfortunate that our leaders in the past led us to this economic mess due to their deliberate insensibility and corruption.
“It is also regrettable and disheartening that we have experienced the worst economic situation in history due to present huge fall in the oil prices which adverse effects had been spread across government at all levels.
“Our administration was the first in Nigeria to cry out on the economic effects of the alleged oil theft during the immediate past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan which later snowballed into the continuous depreciation in the prices of crude oil at the international market.
“Specifically, in July 2013, we decried the incessant oil theft being allegedly proclaimed by the immediate past administration, as we brilliantly told Nigerians to rise to our call and seek for transparency in the management of the oil sector.
“So incredible, we were misinterpreted and viewed as critiques, but now we have been vindicated as what we were fighting against later appeared openly to all.
“Without any sense of doubt, if truly that Nigeria’s economy would definitely experience this economic impasse and our call was heeded to the letter and supported with relevant economic panacea, the country would have been prevented from the gigantic effects occasioned by the nation’s mainstay commodity.
Governor Aregbesola however declared as unfounded and mischievous the allegation that his administration is being tormented with effects of the current economic crisis due to his over-ambition to development.
He said his administration was aware of an allegation purportedly credited to the members of the opposition and enemies of his government who according to him attributed his inability to pay the full salaries of some sections of the state workforce to over-zealousness for transformation.
“It is unfortunate that some people do not reflect on the circumstances that led to the current economic situation in Nigeria.
“But the real fact is that, our economy has been seriously bastardized by the leadership of the main opposition party that led the country for sixteen years.
“These mischievous people have forgotten that our administration in spite the current economic situation has never abdicated its responsibilities in providing the basic amenities to its citizens as well as the payment of workers agreed salaries.
“They have forgotten that all the projects being implemented were mostly needed by the state, even as I speak to you, we still have a lots to do in order to develop and transform our state.
“In view of this, our government is not over-ambitious to development but rather providing the needful needs aimed at developing and transforming the state and the citizens.
“If we have failed to executive all the projects we have done and still doing, the state might not be able to regain such huge transformation as being prioritized by our government.
“So for this reason alone, it is shameful for anybody to think or accuse us of being over-ambitious to development because it is only the enemy of progress that will reason in such an irrational manner”, Aregbesola affirmed.
Governor Aregbesola therefore called on the people to support his administration in its bid of finding workable alternative to chusion the effects of the current economic crisis.
Aregbesola advocated for massive particiaption in agriculture, saying it is the only surviving sector that can bailout the country from her present economic situation.
Earlier in his lecture, the guest lecturer and human rights activist, Barrister Femi Falana who spoke on a topic titled: “Justifiability of Social and Economic Rights in Nigeria” lamented over what he regarded as infinitesimal economic policy in Nigeria, saying the nation’s fortunes had been selfishly mismanaged by the governments at various levels.
The legal luminary who bemoaned the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan for being insensitive, reckless and corrupt said the current corruption charges leveled against some of the people who worked with the erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan was a clear signal to his claims.
Mr. Falana accused members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP as the brain behind the Nigeria economic woes, saying it was unfortunate that the Party (PDP) and its loyalists could siphoned billions of naira purportedly voted for arms procurement.
He called for a genuine and transparent anti-graft war in Nigeria, stressing that the time has come for all Nigerians to form a united front against corruption which he described as a common enemy of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Barrister Falana who called for a speedy and an accelerated prosecution of those facing trial of corruption charges in Nigeria, saying whoever found guilty or being convicted should be given a capital punishment.
Mr. Falana however charged the Federal Government to establish a Special Court for anti-corruption crusade, saying it is the only way to reduce the congestion of trials and prosecutions of corruption cases in the country.
Mr. Falana enjoined the present government to be more vigilant and conversant on the hypocritical attitude of those who appear saintly but behave otherwise.
“Our economy as a nation is totally troubled due to corruption, selfishness, nepotism and political chauvinism that have proliferated in all facets of our national life.
“Our people have been economically damaged and disorientated simply because we are running an infinitesimal policy where the rich become richer and the poor become poorer.
“This is the time for President Muhamadu Buhari to rededicate and restrategize his policies towards his widely acceptable anti-corruption war and fight against insurgency, so that anyone found guilty of corruption would be held thoroughly dealt with and made as a deterrent to others.
“The Federal Government must also as a matter of urgency establish a Special Court to fight against corruption, drug trafficking and human trafficking in order to create a new, saver and better Nigeria that we all desired”, Mr. Falana stated.