He also accused the state government of focusing on two sectors of the economy to the detriment of other critical sectors, regretting that the evils of poverty and unemployment were not tackled while agriculture, industry, tourism, sports, housing and other sectors were neglected.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu, a former Secretary to the Edo State Government, disclosed this in a paper entitled, Edo State Economy: The Way out, which he presented at a town hall meeting, Tuesday, in Benin, organised by a group, House 2 House Support Initiative.
He, however, commended the Edo State Government for increasing the monthly Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of the state from N300 million to N2 billion.
“Edo State Government in the past seven and a half years received over N1 trillion as revenue from the Federation Account and IGR. This is unprecedented in the revenue profile of the state since its inception. This huge revenue was unfortunately not used to grow the economy of the state but squandered on highly inflated projects that were not evenly distributed across the state.
“They were restricted to one or two sectors to the detriment of other critical areas. The evils of poverty and unemployment were not tackled while sectors such as agriculture, industry, tourism, sports, housing, solid minerals were ignored. Existing factories like Bendel Brewery, Edo Line, Edo Courier, Edo Hotel and Bendel Insurance have been allowed to collapse.
“A government that chooses deliberately to ignore agriculture, industry, tourism, sports, solid minerals, and others cannot be seriously concerned about the economy of the state. The present government has, however, made serious effort at increasing the internally generated revenue of the state from N300 million monthly when they came in to N2billion monthly. This is commendable,” Ize-Iyamu said.