Restructuring will address budget challenges —Don
A former Budget Adviser to the National Assembly, and Professor of Economics at the University of Ibadan, Professor Ademola Ariyo, has said much of the impasse and controversy associated with the passage of national budgets in the country can be addressed if closer attention is paid to the clamour for the restructuring of Nigeria.
Ariyo who delivered the First Public Lecture of the Faculty of Management Sciences at National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Lagos Office, on Tuesday, identified tribalism and religion as two of the nation’s greatest challenges, noting that the impact would only continue to be heightened under the current structure.
He said, “The problem is being aggravated by the emergence of a very strong central government wielding powers, a situation that is not consistent with our mutually agreed federal structure. This also tends to breed the turn-by-turn winner-takes-all mentality, depending on the ethnic group from which the head of the Federal Government comes from.”
Ariyo’s paper entitled “Budgeting and Nigeria’s Sustainable Development: Some Key Imperatives” also listed other areas of concern to include inaccuracy of population data, excessive interest in oil, and the poor educational system which he said is producing “ill literates.”
Earlier, the Dean, Faculty Management Sciences, NOUN, Dr Timothy Ishola, described the lecture as a landmark, adding that the notion that university teachers are not active participants in development had at last been challenged.
“This public lecture is a challenge as well as a clarion call to the government to recognise the need for paradigm shift, a shift that would introduce sound management principles and practices into the various implementation stages and processes of the national budget as a cardinal compass of the Federal government’s change mantra.”
The lecture was declared open by the Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, who was represented by the Director of NOUN’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and General Studies, Dr Juliet Inegbedion.