The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, has said that diversification of the nation’s economy remain the only way out of the present financial challenges facing the country.
He observed that the country was going through her most critical time in the history.
Bello, while addressing newsmen on Monday this year’s Labour Day celebrations in Minna, faulted the nation’s woes on its age-long reliance on a mono-product economy.
“The imperatives on diversification of government sources of revenue have never been so pronounced in our history as a nation. Diversification is not just an option but is inevitable,” the governor said.
Bello, who spoke through the Head of Service of the State, Alhaji Maude Lapai, regretted the state of the nation’s economy, which he mentioned was foisted upon the country by dwindling revenue from crude oil.
He stated out that the ripple effect of the development had affected the monthly subvention to federating states.
The governor said the shortfall in monthly subvention to the state had necessitated the prudent use of the scarce resources to pay the salaries of civil servants, severance entitlements of retired workers and provision of basic infrastructure.
The governor then appealed for patience on the part of workers for the ongoing verification of public servants, stressing that the exercise was not a witch-hunt but was aimed at ascertaining the actual number of the civil servants.
He however, urged the organised labour to allow the exercise to be driven to its logical conclusion in order to block leakages in the system.
Earlier, the Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Idris Ndako, had commended the government for given priority attention to agriculture and called on government to ensure that only genuine farmers had access to fertiliser.
The NLC also appealed that leave grant should be consolidated and paid to workers as and when due while payment of primary school teachers’ salary be returned to SUBEB from the Ministry of Local Government.