The immediate past Governor of Niger state, Dr.Muazu Babangida Aliyu has revealed why former President Goodluck Jonathan could not save ahead for the ‘rainy days’ currently being experienced in the country.
Apparently defending the inability of the last administration to save part of its income in the boom era for the rainy day, at the second edition of the NDEDI Annual lecture series hosted by Newgate College Minna yesterday, with the theme; “The Emergence of the Current Economic Realities Expectations on the part of government and the private sector”, Dr Aliyu said that the government was handicapped by the 1999 Constitution.
According to him, “The Constitution did not say we should save anything, what the Constitution say to us is that we should generate and share, it will be illegal for us to say we want to save, the law does not allow it”.
“The 1999 Constitution did not think of any rainy day, the Constitution says all money generated should be put in a pool and shared, to the three tiers of government”, Aliyu added in affirmation.
The former ‘Chief Servant’ explained that they were convinced at the time of the need to keep some money aside for eventuality, which brought about the establishment of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).
He stated that even with the SWF, one of the governors at the time opposed the idea and challenged the idea in court. However, N2.56billion was still left by the PDP government in 2015 when it was exiting.
Consequently, the Governor said, to have such leverage of saving for the future, the 1999 Constitution should be reviewed and embedded with a compulsion for all tiers of government to save no matter how little from their income.
He added that, “Such a constitutional provision will take care of the type of situation we have on our hands where not less than 26 States in the country cannot pay workers’ salaries”.