A University Don, Dr Chris Ekong has advised the Federal Government to spend more on capital projects rather than recurrent expenses in order to reduce the cost of governance in Nigeria.
Ekong who is a lecturer in Economics Department, University of Uyo and a former Commissioner for Economic Development in Akwa Ibom gave the advice at the Annual Feast of Barracuda 2015 Lecture in Eket yesterday.
He explained that as a developing nation, capital projects should constitute a significant proportion of Nigeria’s total expenditure in order to lay a solid foundation for economic growth and sustainable development.
In line with the theme of the event “Reducing cost of Governance as a Panacea for Strengthening the Nigerian Economy”, Ekong stated that money used in recurrent expenditure should be used for savings or expenditure on capital goods.
“If cost of running government is reduced, more funds will be freed for other purpose. If expenditure is not made, such funds are invested or saved.
“If Nigerian government intends to increase capital expenditure in order to create wealth, she has to reduce recurrent and save such funds for investment.” He explained.
Ekong attributed the current poor state of Nigeria’s economy to the pattern of her expenditure, lamenting that the country has continued to spend more on recurrent items over the years.
He listed some Sectoral expenditure that was needed to strengthen Nigeria’s economy to include Infrastructure, Education, Health, Agriculture, Transportation and Maritime Investment.
He also listed ways Nigeria could reduce cost of governance to include stop to funding religious pilgrimages, waivers on imports and removal of oil subsidy.
Ekong also want President Muhammadu Buhari to redouble efforts aimed at putting a stop to money laundering by government officials by taking firm actions against perpetrators, putting an end to contract over-invoicing and expansion of public employment.
“Reduce Executive and Legislative assistants, Submerge Local governments to States, Implement budget, Reduce bureaucracy.” He said.
In his remarks, the President, National Association of Seadogs, NAS, Atlantic Shores Eket Chapter, Mr. Benjamun Roberts said that the Association was not just to celebrating the feat of Barracuda but to discuss the way forward for the nation.
Roberts noted that the theme of the programme was apt and quite instructive as Nigeria faced dire economic realities of free fall of governance revenue, crude oil prices, value of the Nigerian Naira against the US Dollar and consequent unprecedented inflation rate of 9.2 per as at July.
He enjoined Nigerians to join hands in reducing cost of governance in order to survive as a country and explained that Burracuda was a symbolic of the challenges faced by Nigeria as a country.
“We will collectively find solutions to the economic barracuda that is attacking our ship, the Nigerian ship.” He said.
He said that the Association was committed to the entrenchment of a just and egalitarian society where no one would be a victim of race, class, creed and gender.
“A society where the strong support the weak, the informed educate the uninformed and privileged uplift the under-privileged.
“This is what the National Association of Seadogs, also known as the Pyrates Confraternity has and will always stand up for.” He concluded.

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