The Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has said that the country in the past had lived a prodigal life, hence the current economic realities presently confronting her.
Aregbesola said this while chairing the inaugural lecture of Uhuru Times Newspapers in honour of the Superintendent of Police, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the zone 2 Public Relations Officer, in Ijebu-Ife, recently.
The governor, speaking on the theme of the lecture: “Unemployment as a security challenge in a young democracy,” submitted that past administrations in the country had squandered the nation’s wealth.
He faulted past governments for not investing in other areas of economic development, such as agriculture and manufacturing.
The lecture was delivered by a former member of the National Assembly, Senator Olorunnibe Mamora.
He said, “We have all lived a prodigal life as a nation. We depend absolutely on a commodity that most of us don’t even know where it comes from.
”The drop in the price of oil, the mainstay of the nation’s economy, has continued to shrink the economy. This is hardly the fault of the current government. It is however the cumulative fault of previous governments that have neglected agriculture and especially the manufacturing sectors.
“Beyond slumping oil prices, however, if we are serious about employment generation, we should principally find the way to cut down drastically on our imports. Importation provides jobs for the exporting nation and makes the importing nation perpetually dependent.
“We should also increase our refining capacity to attain self-sufficiency and exporting status, so that we will have no need to export crude petroleum again.
“But we must increase our knowledge base through quality education. No nation’s industrial capacity can rise beyond the quality of its education.
“If we develop the gold deposits scattered across the country, for instance, we should generate at least five times what we derive from oil. Unemployment is a ticking bomb. An idle hand is a devil’s instrument and a threat to property, wealth and life anywhere.”