He recently revealed this as Chairman of the 2021 Sardauna Annual Memorial Lecture held at the Arewa House, Kaduna, and Nigerians have been reacting.
According to him, while states and local government must shape their budgets to fit their revenues, the federal government should spend more to create more jobs for the youth in both the North and South, as this is key to eradicating restiveness and sundry criminality among the youth.
He added that enhanced security might be the necessary first step, but it definitely cannot be the only step.
His words, “Thus, America recently embarked on US$1.9 trillion stimulus to boost the economy. It was not said that this government spending would erode jobs but that it would create them. Thus, we should not be so against government spending. If it is for the right purposes, it can do essential things that the private sector cannot. What we should be against is wasteful government spending.”
“Building vital infrastructure such as irrigation and water catchment systems will help agriculture, arrest desertification and provide jobs. Only government has the power and resources to call forth such a program. Another readily available area primed for investment is the agro allied industry which, for the northern region is particularly advantageous.”
“Urban populations are growing but urban jobs are not. Here, government must implement a national industrial policy to encourage key industries that begin to employ this growing urban work force.Like I said in my recent statement on the pressing issue of the herder and farmer dispute, we must appreciate that martial security measures alone will not suffice. Problems that are essentially of an economic origin must also have an economic solution.”
“Enhanced security may be the necessary first step, but it cannot be the only step. We cannot resolve this problem by holding on to one-dimensional answers.”
“We must all be dispassionate in our search for solutions. These challenges are multi-faceted and so shall the solutions must be.The issue of insecurity, poverty, unemployment and extremism have many things to do with governance, over time. At bottom we must tackle our deep and widespread poverty. If we limit government’s role under the erroneous assumption that government spending is intrinsically unproductive then we tether ourselves to failure.”
“We would do well to more critically study how other populous nations such as the UK, US, Germany and China charted their course during their formative years. You will see that they did not adhere to small government or the purportedly free market. Government engaged in massive spending on infrastructure and education while also engaging in policies that protected industrial development and key aspects of the agricultural sector. Only when they matured and held advantages over other nations, did the UK and US begin to champion free markets and small government. We would do well to understand this history and learn what it means for our own pursuit of development.”
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