A financial expert, Alhaji Abdulmumini Sanni-Jawondo, has blamed bad governance, poor rural development and lack of support for small and medium-scale businesses for Kwara’s poor economic situation.
Sanni-Jawondo made the assertion in Ilorin on Monday while featuring on a Media Parliament organised by the Kwara Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Sanni-Jawondo, a Chartered Accountant, Revenue Consultant and Forensic Auditor, spoke on the theme: “Economic and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) Potential of Kwara’’.
According to him, it is worrisome that in spite the enormous resources and economic potential that abound in the state, Kwara is facing so many challenges which account for its poverty level.
“It is on record that despite the fact that the state was created in 1967, it is currently ranked, as reported by Wikipedia in February 2019, as one of the 10 poorest states in Nigeria with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $3.840 billion.
“It is sad to note that the state is ranked with the states that were created in 1990s like Yobe, Gombe, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Taraba and Zamfara.
“While the GDP of Kwara stands at $3.840 billion as reported, other states created at the same time with Kwara such as Lagos and Kano States even without oil have GDPs of $33.679 billion and $12.393 billion, respectively,’’ the financial expert said.
He expressed regret that the state had been consistently governed by political leaders that had no vision or economic road map for the state.
Sanni-Jawondo said that the state had economic potential in areas like agriculture, commerce and industry, small and medium- scale enterprises and mining, among others, that were yet to be explored.
These areas, he said, remained germane to the improvement of the socio-economic activities of the state.
The financial expert said that there was the the need to tap into the informal sector, stamp and development levies, among others, to raise the state’s revenue base.
Sanni-Jawondo advised the incoming state government to identify its assets and liabilities with a view to knowing their true existence, ownership and beneficiaries to avoid manipulation. (NAN)