Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke has said Nigeria’s economic system has many loopholes which need to be appraised for correction.
Imoke said this on Wednesday when he received the state leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress led by its chairman, Mr John Ushie.
Specifically, Imoke noted that the issue of revenue generation formula was one area that needed to be reviewed because it created imbalance.
The governor identified the NLC as one of the component channels, if properly deployed, was capable of boosting the economy of the state, especially in revenue generation.
He said, “There are many loopholes in the nation’s economic system which needs to be appraised for correction and members of NLC should make contributions.
“The issues on revenue allocation formula, subsidy, location of tank farms, export processing zones, exploration of quarries, the establishment of cement industries and the status of federal roads are areas where the NLC could make their impact felt with the view of generating more revenue to the state.
“Revenue generation formula has to be reviewed because it creates imbalance. The location of tank farms within the Export Free Zone is not economical because despite the environmental hazard created, operators do not pay revenue.”
On the issue of subsidy, the governor said, “Subsidy should be based on consumption with the states having the highest consumption of petroleum products paying the highest subsidy, while federal highways should be dual carriage way, but here, our state roads are better than federal roads. The benefit of this is that it will allow the states to raise more revenue for their interests.”
Speaking on the relationship between the state and NLC, Imoke observed that there was need for government and labour to understand each other, adding that even there is a misunderstanding between them, it is based on principle and in the interest of the citizenry and not sectional or selfish.
He challenged labour to position itself to allow investments come to the state, especially in the area of agriculture because of its multiplier effects, cautioning them to ensure workers are not paid below minimum wage.
Imoke explained that promotion examinations for civil servants were intended to acknowledge and recognise merits and hard work, adding that to cancel it would be a terrible mistake. He said he would insist the state sustains it as a mark of celebrating excellence in civil service.
The governor, therefore, appealed for support to strengthen the service, as according to him, labour is part of the process to bring about the expected change.