A Professor of Economics at the School of Economics, University of Ibadan, Ademola Ariyo, on Wednesday raised the alarm that Nigeria has over 400,000 abandoned projects annually in the last two decades.
The don, who maintained that the culture of abandoned projects has become entrenched nationally, listed lack of honest estimation of the cost of the projects and lack of will to fully fund as factors responsible for the abandonment of projects in Nigeria.
Ariyo stated this in his valedictory lecture delivered at the Faculty of the Social Sciences, entitled “Knowledge for Sound Economic Judgment.”
Due to lack of sound economic judgment, the don maintained that budgeting in Nigeria has become a license to squander national resources, and personal preferences of Nigerian leaders take precedence over national preferences
He disclosed that Nigeria’s representative government has become a curse rather a blessing through the squandering of enormous national wealth.
According to him, unbridled borrowing by the leadership of the country continues to enslave the country to her lenders adding that this is what is responsible for tax regime being imposed on Nigerians.
Ariyo counseled President Buhari and Governors in the country to ensure that only persons with requisite knowledge, character or cognate experiences are appointed into very critical public sector positions.
“Also, we all know that Nigeria relishes in warehousing thousands of abandoned projects as a matter of culture. Available evidence suggests that for over two decades, the number of such projects hover around four hundred thousand (400,000) annually.
“Apart from ill-digested and ethically or religiously biased reasons for commencing their implementation, they end up being abandoned due to lack of required cash-backing.
“Our experience so far portrays our version of representative government as a curse rather than a blessing. We ended up with a curious input-focused economic framework, being propelled by a bizarre fiscal operations’ stance that relishes in squandering of enormous national wealth.
“Curiously too, as national revenue increases phenomenally and geometrically, so does the spate and level of national borrowing. Hence, the more revenue we have the more we continue to borrow!
“This is financial intermediation turned upside down! A major bait driving this bizarre behavior is the excuse that a nation’s creditworthiness increases with more revenue.
“The ‘cost’ of our gullibility is manifested by the high proportion of our national revenue being committed to debt servicing.”